Voice-Over Processing Plugins vs. Hardware

by Jason McCoy

Updated August 2022

In this episode of the Voice Acting 101 Podcast, you'll learn:

  • The purpose of voice processor
  • Factors to help you decide on using either a plugin or hardware

Links & Resources from this episode

Voiceover Success Guide

Free Download: 
5-Steps to 
Voice-Over Success


  • Thanks Jason, I use a Neumann TLM 103 mic into a Focusrite 2i2 3rd Generation interface and Reaper software for my DAW. Mainly because its only £60 (yes I’m from the UK) and not a subscription service. I did want an Apollo twin originally, but way out of my budget at the moment. My voice sounds pretty good dry, but I’m experimenting with the Reaper plug-ins now as well.
    Any suggestions for a better set up with this mic?

    • Hi Richard, The TLM103 and 2i2 are both great! As far as Reaper plugins, look for some slight compression. Otherwise check out the Waves Audio plugins mentioned and keep in mind you may not need any processing. If it sounds good, it is good.

  • Hi Jason,

    I’ve been following you for a couple years. Love your stuff. I’m a pro voice talent from Washington DC and am in your home town of Baltimore every weekend. I run an Electro Voice RE 20 and sometimes a Blue ember into a warm audio TB12 pre, DBX compressor, Audient ID4 interface. I’ve heard the Blue ember compared next to the 2,000$ Blue kiwi and there is virtually no difference. For 100$ the Blue ember is the best budget XLR mic I’ve come across and could be a great budget recommendation for some of our starters. Would love to have a coffee and talk shop sometime. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Keep it up buddy. You’re killing it!

    Josh Meyer

    • Thanks Josh! I appreciate that. The RE-20 was my first mic. Looks like a nice audio chain! The Blue Ember is a great recommendation!

  • Mike Holmes says:

    Hi Jason, I’ve never found an inexpensive hardware compressor or limiter that worked well enough to truly get rid of peak distortion without the processing being obvious, i.e., the dreaded ‘pumping.’

    That changed when I discovered Izotope’s Nectar 2 plug. It has compression / limiting that is equal to whatever one’s need is yet be silent about it. It can also do parallel (also called “New York”) compression, which is eminently worth learning, and is not hard. Nectar is not expensive, and has several very useful processors for workaday voice projects.

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