Noise Gate in GarageBand: Reduce Background Noise❓

You can use Noise Gate in GarageBand to reduce unwanted sounds in your audio. In this post, we will see various Noise Gates and Plugins and how to use them in GarageBand to improve the audio quality.

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Dawn Tang

Updated on Mar 29, 2024

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Even with a professional recording setup, the background is inevitable in the audio. It can be frustrating if it interferes with the audio quality. Noise Gates are a powerful tool to do this.

So, In this post, we will see Noise Gate in GarageBand and the best vocal remover to deal with unwanted noise and enhance the audio quality.

What Is Noise Gate in GarageBand

GarageBand is a proprietary Apple software to create, record, and edit music and audio files in one place for all Apple devices. GarageBand provides a Noise Gate to remove background noise or unwanted audio from music files.

You can also find third-party apps like Audacity noise gate and supported plugins. Let us see the various features we can use as Noise Gate on GarageBand.

Default Noise Gate in GarageBand

GarageBand provides a default noise gate, which one can use to set a filter to remove unnecessary sounds. It is a brick-wall noise gate with a maximum ratio and fast release time. You cannot use this gate as a transient shaper or in a more natural way to remove echo from audio.

As we said, it acts like a filter, and any voice below the threshold will be deleted, even if the actual music frequency is below it. It is suitable if none of your music or audio frequencies fall below the threshold. Just set the frequency levels, and you are good to go.

Default Noise Gate UI


  • Very easy to customize and use.


  • We may remove the audio or music frequencies if they are below the threshold.

Share this post on your social media handles to help our musician's friends make audio quality better without any noise.


Audynamicsprocesser Expander Plugin in GarageBand

The default noise gate may ruin your audio in some instances, so a more natural way to approach noise reduction is to use AUDynamicProcesser Expander. The tool can act like a filter and lets you tune down the audio behind the threshold naturally to sound more authentic.

Along with the threshold, you have to set the ratio to filter background noise and remove distortion from audio. You can use this to reduce sound more naturally or if you are dealing with Audio and noises of similar frequencies.

AUdynamicsprocesser Expander Plugin UI


  • Capable of making noise reduction along with making the audio sound more natural.
  • Allows you to set different thresholds for various intervals.


  • Understand the concepts of thresholds and interval very well.

Refer to this YouTube video to learn more about the AUdynamicsprocesser Expander Plugin and how to use it.

Third-Party Noise Reduction Plugins

GarageBand is also flexible with adding various noise gate plugins like Bob Perry Noise Gate and Fab Filter Pro-G to enhance the quality. While they are noise gates, they give you more analog sound options to optimize and finetune the voice.

You will have to adjust the various sound parameters and flexible threshold frequencies for various intervals to achieve professional or home-setup audio quality. If you are into actual audio production or working for short films, these plugins are a great choice.

Bob Perry Noise Gate


  • Offers more control over sound parameters to improve audio quality.


  • Difficult to use.

Get Rid of Background Noise in GarageBand

Now, we will dive right into how to use the noise gates to reduce background noise on GarageBand.

Turn on Noise Gate in GarageBand Mac with a third-party plugin

This procedure details how to use Bob Perry Noise Gate, a popular GarageBand Noise gate plugin to remove unwanted background noises. With this, you can also learn how to remove breathing from audio in GarageBand.

To find this plugin in GarageBand for iPhone/iPad, navigate to "Settings." Find the GarageBand under the apps, and toggle the  "Enable IOS Effect Plug-Ins" option.

Enable IOS Effect Plug-Ins

Step 1. Download and install the Bob Perry Noise Gate Plugin.

Step 2. Press the "B" key to open the smart controls on the interface. Navigate to "Audio Units" > "Bob Perry" > "BPA Noise Gate." 

Step 3. Rotate the frequency threshold (first knob) to the right (cut more) and left (cut less) to adjust between -25 dB to -40 dB.

Bob Perry Noise Gate Settings

Step 4. Now, set the Attack, Hold, and Release to 0.1MS and the Range Knob (last one) to the maximum to achieve complete noise removal.

Employ Noise Gate in GarageBand iPhone

The default Noise Gate comes with the app itself, and you have to enable it to use it. Let us see how to do it. If you know the frequency of the vocals, you can also know how to isolate vocals in GarageBand Mac.

Step 1. Open the GarageBand and select the "Audio Track" you want to edit.

Step 2. Click on the "Mixer" icon at the top, and select "Plugins & EQ" from the options.

Access the Noise Gate on GarageBand

Step 3. Expand the drop-down beside the "Noise Gate" to set the noise gate threshold level.

Set the Threshold of Noise Gate

Step 4. Push the Slider beside the Noise Gate to -35dB or more to set a threshold. Remember that using too little threshold may not remove the unwanted noise, and too much may eliminate the actual sound, so be careful.

Use Noise Gate in GarageBand iPad

You can use the AUDynamicprocessor Expander Plugin on any Apple product, but let us see how to use it on iPad/iPhone. Find the GarageBand alternative for Windows, if you are not a IOS ser.

Step 1. Open the GarageBand on your iPad, and select your Audio.

Step 2. Click on the "Mixer" option at the top, select "Plugins & EQ," and click on "Edit" at the top.

Open the Plugins section

Step 3. Tap the "Plus" icon (green circle) beside the None, and click on the "Audio Unit Extensions" tab.

Step 4. Click on "Find more on the App Store," and download the "AUDynamicprocessor Expander" Plugin.

Download the AUDynamicprocessor Expander Plugin

Step 5. You will find the interface of the AUDynamicprocessor Expander Plugin. Now, you will have two points to control the threshold and ration. 

Step 6. Select the threshold of anything above -35dB, and vary the ratio to finetune the audio. 

Fix Noise Gate in GarageBand Not Working

While working with external plugins, you may face Noise Gate in GarageBand not working issue. Learn how to fix it.

a) The plugin is not detected or compatible

If your system does not meet the minimum requirements of the plugin, you cannot use it. Sometimes, even with the latest versions, this may happen.

Apple restricts external software on its devices and will display "can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer" error. You have to go to privacy and security settings to allow the software into the GarageBand.

b) Noise Gate didn't Load Properly

If you are having trouble accessing the Noise Gate controls, or they don't work, it could happen if the noise gate is not loaded correctly.

The Noise Gate will be greyed out, and you need to troubleshoot the error to fix it, or you can update the app to fix it.

c) Unorganized Noise Gate in the Signal Chain

You have to organize the compression, channel EQ, and all the effects to work optimally. Generally, we keep noise gate before anything else.

This is a good practice and gives you robust control over the dynamic processors and effects to remove background noise from audio.

Reduce Background Noise from Audio Online for Free

Though Noise Gates are effective, you can struggle with sensitive sounds with similar frequencies. And they may sometimes eliminate the actual audio and the unwanted sounds. With AI advancements and constant learning, EaseUS Online Vocal Remover is the best alternative for these Plugins to remove background noise.

EaseUS Online Vocal Remover

This online AI background noise remover identifies and removes unwanted noises in the audio files with AI. The tool is an accurate vocal remover, instrument track, and acapella extractor. All of this is in just three simple steps. Upload the noisy file now, and remove background music from video online.

Key features of EaseUS online vocal remover:

  • Remove unwanted and additional noises with powerful AI.
  • Separate vocals from background noise with ease.
  • Supports all the audio file formats.
  • Preview the files with an in-built media player to check the audio quality.

Final Words

Noise Gates are great tools to eliminate background noises, but you have to play around them to determine the volume threshold for better audio quality. Learn how to use Noise Gate in GarageBand and third-party plugins to remove unwanted noises from audio. 

Even with the best tools, a threshold may permanently remove some part of your audio, and the best way is to use the EaseUS Vocal Remover, powered by AI, to tune down the external noises from audio naturally.

FAQs About Noise Gate in GarageBand

Here are some of the most frequent FAQs asked on Noise Gate in GarageBand. I hope you find these queries helpful. 

1. Where is Noise Gate in GarageBand?

For Macs, open GarageBand and press B to open the SmartControls. Now, check the "Noise Gate" box to activate it.

For iPhone/iPad, you have to navigate to "Mixer" > "Plugins & EQ" to find the Noise Gate.

2. How do I turn on my noise gate?

1. Open GarageBand.

2. Click the B key to open the SmartControls.

3. Check the box beside the Noise Gate to turn it on. Adjust the threshold to apply it to audio.

3. How do I reduce sibilance in GarageBand?

1. Open GarageBand and select the audio.

2. Click "View" >"Smart Controls."

3. Click on the drop-down beside Plugins. Navigate to "Dynamics" > "DeEsser."

4. Adjust the frequency and suppression according to your sibilance to reduce it.

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