Spoken word voice processing help

Is there anybody working with spoken word voice processing and Ableton that wants to help me (paid)?

My girlfriend is making videos for her work, and recording the audio with a headset mic. I tried to make it sound better in ableton, but I have no experience with voice and I am not happy with what I achieve.

I am looking for someone that also works with ableton and that can make a good processing chain with stock ableton devices (or others that are affordable…), so I can use this chain for all the recordings and future recordings. I assume this will work in general if the same mic is used in the same room…
Off course we are willing to pay for this work.


I dont have the specific experience required to feel good about offering my services or getting paid for it, but I could imagine such a processing chain involving:

  • compressor for pops/clicks
  • de-esser (have had limited success with the stock Ableton one, but you could also set up an EQ8 with 3 or 4 notch filters and have quick access controls to sweep the frequencies of the notches)
  • quick EQ gain controls to boost/attenuate certain frequency bands (low mids, mids, highs)
  • some kind of gentle saturation
  • tiny bit of reverb (room perhaps?)
  • spectrum analyser

Fix the source because you can’t polish a terd.
Research ‘how to’ and then fork out for a good quality microphone.

That’s what I’d do.
Hope all goes well!


I edit spoken word audio for a living (mostly interactions/interviews for linguistic research) and sometimes do some basic restauration. I can’t help with your request as I‘m using Samplitude at work but here’s what I keep using regularly:


I don’t use compression or clean up too much because linguists prefer a „natural“ sound and want all the breathing pauses, volume changes, mouth noises etc to be included so it’s quite a different approach.
@HisMostDarxxxellent said it well, the better the recording the easier it‘ll be afterwards so building a solid recording workflow and environment will save a lot of headaches and time afterwards.

The iZotope RX Voice Denoiser basic version is often on sale and works pretty well even with very few options to clean up annyoing background noises.


One could do some eqing, noise reduction ad whatnot but if the recording is crappy to begin with it’s never going to sound great.
If possible re-record with better mic.

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one aspect of my job is podcast post production. What you need is not available on Ableton live but something like Rx… Unfortunately the best tools are on the advanced version. Perhaps consider subscribing. If you send me a sample I could do a sample for you to evaluate what can be achieved with it and then you can decide whether it works or buying a better microphone. While a better microphone is always better, that does not remove the need for something like Rx. Often better microphones pick up more of a different kind of noise (which is easier to fix on Rx). Another thing to consider is location. The room used for recording. Hit me up and we can talk if you’re interested.


I do voiceover stuff for work and I’d be cautious about the ‘get a better mic’ advice if you don’t have a great sounding room. I use a dynamic (Sennheiser e906) because I already had one for guitar recording. Condensers just pick up too much of the room sound for me. I do a simple eq and comp to taste in Logic, automate volume cuts and record some silent room tone to fill in where the volume cuts are.

Also going to recommend iZotope RX. You’re not going to be able to do much with stock Ableton plugins.


…yup…ableton stock plugins are way more focussed on sonic sensation…
and no onboard included plugin chain recommendations will really do THIS trick…

especially if u got a bit of crappy source material…
and especially if it’s voice only…
and on top especially if it’s spoken words…
what ur dealing with here, is actually what human ears are most used to decipher…
since ever and ever…

so u’ll defenitly need some little help from external plugins here…
what dfunk1983 suggests is a good investment for dealing with degraded source material of any kind…check izotope products for this…sure it will help u big time…

but as also mentioned here before…why does ur female speaking voice needs to do all this via some standard headset mic…?

if u see any option to make her record what she wants to say with a shure sm7b, connected via a cloudlifter that u simply feed with phantompower…
u get nice warm radio voice quality with whatever converter/mic preamp and recording device ur dealing with and especially whatever the room might look like, the voice gets to recorded in…since any roomreflections are one of the biggest issues here…
for convincing voice overs, u want dead dry, most natural and direct recordings…

half of all radio stations around the globe and pretty much all podcasts got that in use…

for too many good reasons, since with this combo, u gonna need no real further plugin processing or room treatment never no more to make ur voice overs fit perfectly…and ur always good to go straight away…it’s easy to handle and delivers even when used quick and dirty…

a timeless, universal (since this combo is not only great for voice but pretty much for anything else too) and solid good investment, if ur doing this on any longer and more frequent terms…

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recording the audio with a headset mic


What do you use? Can she borrow your audio interface? Does she have any funds to improve her mic? Does she have a pop filter? (DIY should be fine and easy…)

@ reeloy Hrm, I’ve heard mixed things about the CloudLifter, that it’s louder but not necessarily a great preamp.

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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!

She makes yoga videos. not the standard sun salutation yoga, but yoga enough to need a headset mic. She uses my old RME babyface, a good sure wireless receiver, and a t-bone mic (Thomann housebrand). We tried other good mics like sure and AKG, but they didn’t fit her head well…
We do a lot of yoga with live music together in sessions and weekends, that’s why we have this setup in the first place.

I don’t think the sound is bad, I just would like it to be better… especially eq, and this is where I shit the bed mostly, I have no experience eq’ing (or any processing) for making something sound natural. And I have problems filtering out the breath plops, like with the letter W.

The isotope rx does look like what we need :slight_smile:


Feel free to post a sample and maybe we’ll be able to give you more specific advice that is suitable to your girlfriend’s voice & recording chain.

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