BOSS Audio: Normalizing Your Audio

What is normalization and is there a standard for it? You’ve probably asked those questions, and this week’s episode has answers. Anne and VO Tech Guru Tim Tippets talk about peak normalization, RMS normalization, understanding your noise floor, and why louder does not always mean better. Check out this episode to learn optimal input levels, the difference between amplification and normalization, and how to avoid digital distortion. Use these tips to create dynamic audio and rock your business like a BOSS.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. The broadcast standard is to “normalize your audio to -3db”. This is so people can hear you at a standard level, no matter what device they are on 

  2. Peak normalization takes the peaks of your audio and sets them to the level you specify Everything else in your audio moves relative to this

  3. RMS (root mean square) normalization averages the overall volume of your audio to the level you specify. This is standard for audiobooks, but not for traditional voiceover auditions. 

  4. Emotions in your voice, show up as peaks and valleys in your audio

  5. Making your audio louder also brings up your noise floor and any background noise along with it

  6. If your input levels are at -6 to -12db when you are recording, and you are monitoring with your headphones, you can hear if there is any background noise

  7. You should be aware of the numerical values of your levels, not just the colors as they appear in your DAW and/or on your interface

  8. A dynamic VO that is done correctly will win out over an audition that is simply louder

  9. When everything is loud, nothing is unique, and there’s no way to discern emotion and nuance

  10. You can get plug-ins for certain interfaces that will process your audio in real-time

  11. A combination of your performance, software control, mic technique, and normalization can create a winning audition and great audio to submit to your client for the final product

  12. You should focus on quality of audio and performance when sending in your auditions. Don’t try and win the loudness war

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Look at all of the gear and plug-ins that Anne recommends!

  2. Check out all of the equipment that Tim recommends

  3. These cables are studio gold!

  4. Recorded on ipDTL


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with the audio engineer extraordinaire, Mr. Tim Tippets. Hey Tim Tippets! How are you?

Tim: I’m good, how are you, Anne?

Anne: I”m doing great. Tim, I got a question for you, which I think you’ve probably received multiple times in the past. But it brings me back to when I first started in voiceover, and I was on the Voice123 pay-to-play. And the first time I saw this term was to normalize my audio to -3 dB.

Tim: Right.