Voiceover, compression, normalisation, and background noise

Hi there,

I am new here, so firstly nice to meet you all.

I have recently started doing voiceovers from home, and am trying to get the best setup I can. I’m still grappling with the best way to process my audio once I record it.

I am using Audition and an Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, a Behringer UMC22 and an IsoVox 2 in order to record. Yet when I do my compression, hard limiter, EQ and normalise to around -1db (which is what voices.com told me I need to do to be consistent with other VO talents), I find that the silence in my recordings is suddenly pretty noisy.

So, I have a few questions:

  1. Is there a ‘right’ order to do the above steps?
  2. Should I do noise reduction first or last in the workflow? Or not at all?
  3. What in general is the best way to do compression? I seem to be making things worse, having watched LOADS of videos and tried to learn it well.
  4. Should I use a hard limiter separately?
  5. Is there a way to do my compression that levels out the peaks in the speech, but doesn’t add gain to the ‘silence’?
  6. Is there anyone out there who might be able to help me on a live video call to see exactly what I am doing (but I don’t have a fortune to spend on the session)

I hope you can help with my rookie questions. I am not a technical person by background on this, so I am learning.


About noise if noise is loud,its probably something from your computer,for example if you using laptop its probably from hard drive then you must isolate ground on your cable thats how you can eliminate noise or you can buy some noise reducer. If you use desktop its cables or electricity you should check those two things step by step,replacing the cables. If its nothing above that i mention,then when you record your voice first do noise reduction in adobe audition or you can use izotope rx8. When uyou use compression eq limiter and other effects you should check mike russel channel on youtube and you can find everything how to use effects for voiceover. But for voice over compression is about 3 sometimes even higher it depends what clients wants and what you wanna achive.

Thanks. My mic is in an Isovox booth so it’s not fan noise or anything like that. I have only just discovered the noise gate, which has more or less fixed my problem entirely.