If you’re prone to chasing down some Earth-scorching distortion tones and turning everything in your power up past 11, the chances are you might have a fair amount of noise running through your signal chain. Enter the TC Electronic Sentry, a multi-band noise gate featuring state of the art technology that aims to control and kill any nasty hum and buzz that tries to get in the way of your tone - because the only time your guitar should be squealing is when you’re wailing on the whammy bar.
This first thing you notice about the Sentry is how damn sturdy the thing is. It’s a pleasingly heavy enclosure that feels like it could withstand a decade’s worth of vigorous stomps. Three large knobs offer threshold, damp and decay controls. This allows you to find the sweet spot between how much noise can pass though the gate, how long the gate stays open and how many decibels the signal is attenuated by when the gate kicks in. There’s also send and return inputs for patching particularly noisy effects into the Sentry’s own loop. This ensures the most organic gating effects. As organic gating, the Sentry can also achieve classic hard gating sounds with the flick of a switch. This switch also accesses TC Electronic’s TonePrint option, offering both highly editable and custom made presets from Slayer’s Gary Holt and Anthrax’s Scott Ian. Rounding it out, the pedal comes wired as true bypass - ensuring your original tone stays intact and uncoloured by the effect.
The Sentry is designed speci cally with extremely high gain setups in mind, and it deals with noise in a clean and efficient way without strangling your guitar tone in the process. The three-band noise gate is invaluable for doing this, as it helps isolate the offending frequencies - whether they are in the lows, mids or highs - and remove the noise from that point. The result is a gate that sounds relatively organic. I tend to shy away from noise gates generally, as I find them too obtrusive. However, when you nd the sweet spot on the Sentry, it becomes barely noticeable - besides the complete, almost eerie absence of hum and noise caused by its presence.
Particularly with single coil pickups, the gate does a fantastic job of keeping all the sound you want while removing any nastiness that surrounds it. This would be particularly handy when cleaning up a guitar signal for a clean recording. The TonePrint technology in conjunction with TC Electronic’s app offers some inspiring presets and sounds to use either as a set-and-forget solution, or as a springboard for fine-tuning your own settings from.
PEACE AND QUIET
For an intuitive and well-built noise gate that will buck hum with the best of them without stealing the colour from your tone, the Sentry is a very worthy consideration.
Hits and Misses
Noise Gate that retains the dynamics and character
Hard-gate setting offers classic metal tone on tap
TonePrint technology may feel gimmicky to some