I'm looking to buy or build an effect pedal that would cut off all sound passing through it to the amp if the volume from the guitar is too low.

Functionally this would make it so that you could pluck a string repeatedly, starting out softly and inceasing in volume, but no sound would come from the amp until you reach the volume that the pedal is set to turn on at. Of course it would shut off again after the volume naturally decays below that level.

I'm not sure about the terms that would be used to describe the electronics involved, so I've had a difficult time finding information on how this would be done, or if a pedal like this already exists.

2 Answers 2


What you're looking for is called a noise gate. There are a ton of options.

  • Well I feel silly I didn't find that myself. Thank you!
    – Codacimo
    Jul 12, 2020 at 2:08
  • Many multi-FX units include a noise gate early in their signal path; you can usually adjust the level.
    – gidds
    Jul 12, 2020 at 13:47

Noise gate pedals cut off sound beneath a certain threshold. If you are interested, there are also a few compressors that are also noise gates in case you want a smaller pedalboard footprint.

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