January 17, 2024 by Audrey Martinovich

Getting started with VEA to clean up your voice recordings

What is VEA and how does it polish voice recordings? Learn how this simple but powerful plugin removes background noise and other voice problems found in podcasts and videos.

With thousands of podcast episodes and video content being uploaded every day, audio quality can be very hit or miss. Listeners are willing to forgive a couple of small bumps or noises here and there, but if your video or podcast audio is full of background noise it can be distracting. We want people to listen to the content and not be turned away because of bad audio quality. 

We’ll take a look at some common audio problems content creators run into and how iZotope VEA (Voice Enhancement Assistant) can help clean up your voice recordings to sound like this: 

Voice recording with VEA

Follow along with VEA, the AI audio enhancer that takes any voice recording and makes it more powerful, more polished, and more professional. 


Sound quality isn’t all about microphone choice. A big piece of the puzzle is recording in a nice, quiet, acoustically-pleasing environment. Most microphones are meant to capture all of the nuances of a performance so they are also going to capture extraneous noises and reflections, especially in home recording environments. This quick tutorial will go over how to clean up the sound on a voice recording and how to make your podcast and video content sound clearer.

For tips on microphone and gear selection, check out this beginner’s guide on how to make your own podcast. For formatting and content tips, check out our ultimate guide to podcast production.

Common audio problems in content creation

Some common audio problems we hear are:

  • Loud ambient noise such as an HVAC system or refrigerator running in the background
  • Way too much room sound that makes the speaker sound far away
  • Inconsistent volume so some words are too loud while others are lost
  • Tonal issues such as harshness or muddiness

Typically, you need a few different tools to address each of these problems such as de-noisers, compressors and EQs. However, iZotope VEA combines these tools into one easy-to-use plugin. Let’s get into what VEA is and how to use it to clean up your voice recordings.

How to clean up audio with VEA

Cleaning up audio with VEA is super quick and easy. Within the plugin, you have three different controls to play with: Clean, Shape and Boost. You also have a few different presets you can audition and tweak that work well with spoken or sung material. Let’s get started!

1. Initiate VEA as an insert on a track or as an AudioSuite plugin 

Once you open VEA and play some audio, the plugin will listen to and analyze your audio track and recommend settings for noise reduction, EQ and dynamics processing. Then, you can begin adjusting settings to taste. 

In this audio example, I recorded myself speaking in the least acoustically-pleasing room in my studio, complete with roomy sound and exhaust fan: the bathroom! 

Voice recording in bathroom


Default settings upon opening VEA as an insert on a voice track

2. Audition presets to see how they affect your sound 

VEA comes with seven presets to suit any type of voice and different types of content. For example, the Public Radio preset enhances the lower, more soothing frequencies of a vocal with heavier compression in contrast to the Sung Vocals (High) preset which features gentler compression and a brighter tone. 

In this audio example, I’ve maxed out the Boost and Shape settings so you can clearly hear how different these two presets sound.

Public Radio vs. Sung Vocals (High) presets


VEA comes with presets designed to fit any voice and any type of content

3. Adjust the controls to get your desired sound 

Rather than needing multiple plugins to polish up your audio, VEA combines audio cleanup, tone control, and volume processing into one plugin with three controls you can tweak.


The final settings in VEA I’ve chosen for this voice recording


The Clean control adjusts the amount of denoising applied to the track. In this audio example, we can hear the sound of the exhaust being reduced as well as the room reflections or reverb being tightened up. When turning up this control, listen especially to how breaths are being affected. Breaths are usually where you’ll hear artifacts being introduced if you’ve overdone the denoising.


Shape is your EQ or tone control. Turning this up exaggerates the EQ curve that VEA has recommended based on listening to your audio and your selected preset. Different presets have different EQ curves so if you’re having trouble hearing what each preset is doing, try turning this control all the way up to make the shape of the EQ curve extra dramatic.


For dynamics processing, you’ll want to adjust the Boost control. Boost increases the level of your audio by reducing louder peaks and boosting the quieter sections. No more lost words or listeners having to constantly adjust their volume.

After adjusting these settings to taste, this is the final sound I came up with: 

Bathroom voice recording with VEA

Get pro voice recordings in your content with VEA 

Now that you know how to clean up voice recordings for podcast and video content using VEA, you can quickly get your content sounding more professional. Save time by starting with a preset, then tweaking the settings to your liking. You can feel confident that listeners aren’t being turned away from your podcast or video because of bad sound. 

For more in-depth tutorials on cleaning up background noise other iZotope tools such as RX, check out how to remove background noise from video and how to clean up voice recordings for videos, podcasts, and streaming.