Improving the sound of my voice over

I have a podcast I just started and I am pretty new to Audition. I have been searching for the right effects to use on my voice and the person I am interviewing.

Mike has a great video showing how he uses Parametric EQ, Normalize, Dynamics Processing, then Normalize to sweeten the voices. Someone else online used Normalize, Hard Limiter then Compression and I have seen other variations.

My question is not what are the specific settings but what are your go-to effects and why? Maybe you always use Normalize and then Dynamics Processing. Does that make sense? I think I have so many options that I don’t know which way to turn first. -

Hi Shawn. For podcasts I tend to do the following (NB: I edit a few podcasts for people. They send audio to me, so I don’t have control of the recording environments, otherwise some of these things can be dealt with at the recording stage):

• Check the breathes to see whether some of them need to be brought down in volume a little or eliminated (by bringing the volume down to zero and cutting the duration by half). There are also plugins that automate this process but you have to be very careful with the settings.

• Manually edit out stutters, sniffs, clicks, chair squeaks and any other nasties!

• Check to see if the audio need treating. For example, If someone’s very bassy, use the EQ to run a high-pass filter over their voice. Or if someone has a lot of mouth clicks (for example, because they’re not hydrated enough or they’ve just eaten chocolate!) / or if someone has been recording a little bit too loud - Izotope has a great set of plug-ins called RX7 to get rid of these: https://www.izotope.com/en/products/rx.html

• Normalise. Add light compression, maybe just 3:1. Then Normalise again.

• Sometimes I’ll also go to Window and click Essential Sound to play with the settings there.

• At the end, select all the tracks and right click on one of them to match audio loudness. Mike’s got a great YouTube video on this …and pretty much everything else in this list!

Sorry if I’ve gone on a bit here - the main takeaway should be: edit out the faults first before you EQ, compress and otherwise polish-up voices, otherwise you’re just highlighting the faults more!

What’s your podcast about?

Thanks for sharing your process. It’s the kind of thing I am looking for. All my shows are me interviewing one person so I record using a Zoom H4N and I do my “ums” and “ahs” editing on a copy of that main file before I bust it up and send it to the multitrack. I think part of my problem is I don’t quite have the ear for the subtle changes that get made when I treat the audio, but I’m getting there! I originally used the podcast template that was provided in Audition. Only after a couple of shows did I realize that there were effects already applied. No wonder things sounded off.

My podcast is called the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project and is at https://shadescahabahistory.com. This was originally a high school, now an elementary school, that is celebrating it’s 100 year history next year. I am collecting stories to share with alumni and interested people. Originally I was going to just record stories for posterity but then I thought why not a podcast?

Had a listen. Sounds good.