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G8 is described as "the perfect digital noise gate that all the analogue ones were trying to model".
The Attack and Decay parameters set the exact amount of time needed for the gate to transition from fully closed to fully open, respectively. This means the rate of gain change is also affected by the Range control. For example: with the default settings of 24dB range and 1ms attack the gate will open at a rate of 24dB/ms. If you increase the Range to the maximum 90dB the gate will still reach unity after precisely 1ms, and therefore the gain increases at the much faster rate of 90dB/ms. This allows precisely calibrated clicks to be added to the start of kick drums (for example).
The Hold parameter is implemented before the Attack smoothing, so the gate will continue to open during the Hold stage if necessary. This allows drum sounds to be 'softened' by using slower Attack times.