Our tasks are arguably a bit out of sequence here, because when I apply compression I typically do it before normalization or other amplification. But for discussion purposes, it’s better placed here. To apply Soundbooth’s Advanced Compressor, click Effects, then Advanced, then Compressor (Advanced). That inserts that effect into the Effects panel (left). Click the Effect Preset list box and choose the desired preset—I’m using the Voice Over preset.
You can sample your preset by clicking the Play button beneath the waveform, and you can toggle the effect on and off by clicking the green button to the left of the Compressor (Advanced) effect. If the sound isn’t quite right, click Settings to open the window shown in the figure on the left.
For most users, these controls are so technical that you’re better off choosing a different preset rather than trying to adjust these to your liking. However, if you’re an experienced audio editor, have a go. Note that Soundbooth also offers a Vocal Enhancer (found under the Effects tab) that you can customize for male or female voice and music. If you don’t get good results using the Compressor effect, give that one a try.
Once you perfect your settings, click the Apply to File button on the bottom of the Effects panel to apply them. Though the effects will disappear from the panel after you apply them, you can always undo these effects within the History panel. If you’re producing a podcast or streaming video with the audio you’re editing and plan to apply MP3 or another form of streaming compression to your audio, you should render your audio to your final format before finalizing your compression settings. That is, if you’re creating a podcast, adjust compression (and then normalization) to the desired levels, then produce an MP3 file to test the result. If you plan to stream using the Windows Media codecs, encode your audio/video file to your final Windows Media parameters.
That’s because the interplay between audio compression and streaming compression can often produce undesirable results. For example, with male speech, you can use audio compression to deepen the voice a bit. Sometimes streaming compression can exacerbate this into harshness. So render your audio file to your final output settings before finalizing your compression settings