A follow-up on Is this blip due to the voice actor or the recording equipment? : I noticed on different microphones and computers that I sometimes get a subtle and sudden drop in volume at the end of speech. Although it's subtle and I I have very sensitive ears, I am sure it is there and suspect that one explanation could be that microphones have a noise gate or other pre-processing steps implemented in hardware.

Is that true?

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    It would be extremely unlikely for something like a Samson to have any intentional (read: more costly) processing on-board. At a long-shot, your DACs might have some low noise-floor gate.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 21, 2020 at 17:44
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    Oh, it's USB… then there might be some gate implemented in the 'software' side. I've never used any USB mic, so idk.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 21, 2020 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no.

Normal studio or stage microphones does not have noise gates or similar in them. For a lot of them you can find the schematics if you do a bit of search.

As example, the Shure SM58, quite common, has a microphone capsule and a transformer. Both of these have an effect on the sound and are "optimized" in various ways. But there is nothing that would work as a noise gate.

Another example is an old school condensor microphone, say the U87. All condensor microphones has at least one active element, often a FET transistor. But no noise gate, the sound in is amplified.

On the other hand, if you look at USB microphones, all bets are off. In order to connect to USB they need a microprocessor and how the programming modifies sound is hidden from us.

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