Whether you’re a live streamer sharing your gameplay, a podcaster discussing trending topics, or a musician broadcasting your performances, one thing is sure: high-quality audio is critical. With an extensive array of Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins available, it can be challenging to navigate and select the ones that will truly elevate your audio. This article will guide you through the best VST plugins that can enhance your live streams and podcasts, providing your audience with a superior listening experience.
For live streamers and podcasters, the quality of audio content is paramount. It’s not just about the content you deliver; it’s also about how you deliver it. One effective way to enhance your audio content is by using VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. These digital tools emulate the functions of traditional recording studio hardware, allowing you to refine your sound and offer the best possible audio experience to your audience.
Here is a comprehensive guide to some of the top VST plugins you should consider for live streaming and podcasting. Whether you are an experienced audio engineer or a beginner, these plugins can help you deliver professional-sounding audio.
What are VST Plugins?
Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins are digital tools used to mimic the effects of traditional studio hardware. These plugins can be integrated into your digital audio workstation (DAW) to enhance and refine your audio content. With VST plugins, you can apply effects, manipulate sound, and even create your own music, right from your computer.
Why Use VST Plugins for Live Streaming and Podcasting?
The quality of your audio can make or break your live stream or podcast. While a good microphone is essential, it’s often not enough. VST plugins offer an affordable way to improve your audio without needing to invest in expensive hardware. They can reduce background noise, enhance vocal clarity, add sound effects, and more. This makes VST plugins an indispensable tool for live streamers and podcasters seeking to create professional-grade audio.
Now, let’s delve into the best VST plugins for live streaming and podcasting.
Our Top Picks
Waves NS1 Noise Suppressor
Background noise can be a significant distraction in live streams and podcasts. The Waves NS1 Noise Suppressor is a go-to VST plugin for minimizing unwanted background noise. With its intuitive single-fader design, it automatically differentiates between dialog and unwanted noise, making it easy even for beginners to achieve clean, clear audio.
FabFilter Pro-Q 3
Equalization is a crucial aspect of audio production, allowing you to balance different frequency components. The FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is an incredibly flexible equalizer offering up to 24 EQ bands. Its visual interface provides a real-time spectrum analyzer, making it easy to see where adjustments are needed. This plugin is ideal for ensuring your voice is bright and clear, without any muddiness or harshness.
Izotope RX 8
If you’re dealing with clips that have been recorded in less-than-ideal conditions, Izotope RX 8 is a lifesaver. It’s a complete toolkit for audio repair and enhancement, capable of removing clicks, hum, and even reverb. For podcasters, the Dialogue Isolate and Voice De-noise functions are particularly useful, ensuring your voice comes through loud and clear.
Antares Auto-Tune Pro
While more commonly associated with music production, Auto-Tune can also be a valuable tool for live streamers and podcasters. Even if you’re not singing, it can help smooth out your speech and make your voice more consistent. The Antares Auto-Tune Pro offers real-time pitch correction and a user-friendly interface. It can be a useful tool for podcasters and streamers who want to add a professional touch to their voice.
ValhallaDSP Valhalla Room
Good reverb can add depth and realism to your audio. ValhallaRoom is a versatile reverb plugin that offers a variety of high-quality reverb effects. While you wouldn’t want to add too much reverb to a podcast or live stream, a touch can add a sense of space and dimension, making your voice sound more natural.
Neverdie AUDIO Speachy (Vocal Channel Strip)
Speachy by Neverdie AUDIO is a complete VST plugin specifically designed for the human voice. It’s built with live streaming, podcasting, content producers, and voiceovers in mind. This plugin eliminates most unnecessary parameters for quick and simple setup, making it user-friendly even for those with little to no sound engineering experience.
Speachy features a full signal chain set up in the right sequence without requiring any gain matching from the user. Many settings are pre-set for most situations and produce excellent outcomes in their default forms. Its built-in noise reduction immediately eliminates most background noise with a delay of under 10ms, and it boasts a low CPU usage and zero internal latency in real-time mode, making it ideal for live scenarios.
Waves Clarity Vx Pro (Real-Time Noise Reduction for Voice)
Waves Clarity Vx Pro is a state-of-the-art noise reduction plugin that automatically cleans up vocals with the highest quality and the least artifacts. Using neural networks, Clarity VX Pro attenuates background noise while keeping your primary signal intact.
This plugin separates the spectrum into four frequency bands, allowing you to adjust the amount of reduction and focus to apply. It also comes with three neural network options to produce optimal results for different types of noise. Clarity VX Pro is incredibly adaptable and can achieve high levels of noise reduction seamlessly.
Other top VST plugins for podcasting and live streaming include Waves WLM Plus (for loudness metering), McDSP NR800 Noise Reduction Processor Native v7 (for noise reduction), and FabFilter Pro-L2 (a limiter). Also worth mentioning are Waves CLA-2A (a compressor/limiter), Waves C6 (a multi-band compressor), and FabFilter Pro-Q 3 (a high-end equalizer).
High-quality audio content is crucial for any live streamer or podcaster. By using the right VST plugins, you can significantly enhance your audio quality, giving your audience a more professional and enjoyable listening experience.
Remember, the best VST plugin for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time to understand what each plugin