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The new Yeti X USB microphone makes it easier than ever to dial in professional sound with groundbreaking Blue VO!CE broadcast vocal effects. Whether you want to sound crisp and modern, warm and vintage, or craft your own unique sound, Blue VO!CE effects have everything you need to get the job done. In this blog, we’ll show you how to use Blue VO!CE effects to make your voice sound the way you want.
In order to access Blue VO!CE effects, you’ll need to download and install Blue Sherpa or Logitech G HUB—both programs are totally free and compatible with Mac and PC. Plug in your Yeti X, open up the app and navigate to the Microphone tab. From here, check the “Enable Blue VO!CE” box as well as the “Advanced Controls” box to start customizing your sound.
To test out various settings, record a short Mic Test. Simply press the record button, start speaking into your Yeti X and press stop when you’re done. Pressing the play button will loop the clip continuously so you can audition different settings.
Blue VO!CE Voice EQ
Voice EQ allows you to enhance the sound of your voice by adjusting the low, mid and high frequencies. Each section or “band” can be used to boost or cut different frequencies to increase the depth, clarity and intelligibility of your voice.
Use the low band to adjust bass frequencies from 80 Hz to 600 Hz. Boost the lows to add more of that big, powerful “radio voice” sound, or lower it if your voice sounds too boomy or muddy.
Use the mid band to fine-tune frequencies between 400 Hz and 5 kHz. Boosting the mids can help your voice cut through background noise, while cutting certain frequencies can help reduce room noise and make your voice sound less boxy.
Use the high band to tweak frequencies from 3 kHz to 12 kHz. Raise the highs to give your voice more clarity and definition or lower them if your voice sounds shrill or harsh.
Click the ellipses next to the Voice EQ checkbox to open the settings tab, where you can select which frequencies to the low, mid and high bands adjust, as well as the Q value. The Q, or quality setting, controls how wide or narrow of a range each band affects. With a wide Q, you affect a wide range of frequencies, which is great for gentle boosts. Narrow Q values are best for cutting out a specific frequency, like the sound of your computer fan or the whining of your electronics.
While optimal settings will vary from person to person, it’s common to make a small boost around 200 Hz, a moderate cut around 400 – 600 Hz and a small boost around 4 – 6 kHz for a rich, full-sounding vocal with deep lows and crisp highs.
Blue VO!CE High-Pass Filter
Similar to the Voice EQ filter, the High-Pass Filter targets a specific frequency range to help clean up your sound. In this case, the high-pass filter allows high frequencies to pass through, while filtering out low frequencies. This helps keep your voice from sounding too boomy while also removing unwanted low-frequency noises like humming electronics or rumbling traffic.
The high pass filter can be set from 20 Hz to 400 Hz. If you set the target frequency too low, the High-Pass Filter may not sound like it’s doing anything at all. But if you set it too high it can make your voice sound weak and thin. For best results, try setting the High-Pass Filter between 80 and 160 Hz.
Blue VO!CE Noise Reduction
Noise Reduction removes consistent background noise from your audio signal, like room ambiance, rain and vehicle noise. Noise reduction software analyzes your audio to intelligently separate the noise from the important content as transparently as possible. This filter is incredibly simple to use—just slide the maximum attenuation control down until the noise disappears! Open up the settings tab for in-depth control over noise reduction, including release time, bias and sensitivity, which control how subtle or aggressive the filter cuts out noise. Just be careful not to get too aggressive with this effect, as it can start to alter the sound of your voice when over-used.
Blue VOI!CE Expander/Gate
Also known as a noise gate, the Expander removes unwanted background noise when you’re not speaking. Whenever your voice level is lower than the selected threshold, the gate closes, automatically reducing the level of background noise.
To set the Expander, open the settings tab and look for the threshold setting, which adjusts when the gate opens and closes. Think of the threshold setting like one of those “You must be this tall to ride” signs at the carnival—when set correctly, the gate opens when your speaking volume is above the threshold, and closes when you’re not speaking to remove additional background noise.
To set the threshold, start by dragging the controls all the way to the left, so even the quietest noise will open the gate. Next, and drag the threshold controls to the right until you start to see blue lights fill up the right side of the gain reduction meter at the bottom of the settings tab. This means that the gate is closed, and is currently reducing the level of background noise. Spend some time adjusting the slider to find the sweet spot so that the gate opens when you’re speaking and eliminates background noise when you’re not.
Play back your Mic Test and make sure the gate opens and closes without cutting off any of your words. The threshold and range setting will vary from person to person, but the attack and release times should both be rather fast to make sure the gate opens and closes when you want it to.
Attack controls how quickly the gate goes from closed to open. This is typically set extremely fast to make sure it doesn’t cut off the beginnings of your words. Try using an attack time between 1-3 ms.
Release controls how quickly the gate goes from open to closed. This should also be relatively fast; otherwise you can audibly hear the noise reduction occur over time. However, setting it too fast can make your voice sound choppy. Try setting the release time around 100 ms.
You can further fine-tune your sound with the range and ratio controls. Range controls how much gain reduction is applied, or how much the noise is reduced. Adjust the range until you can no longer hear background noise in your Mic Test—20 dB is usually a good starting point.
Ratio controls how aggressively the gate reduces your input signal. Start with a moderate ratio like 4:1 and adjust as needed. Use a lower ratio for a more subtle sound and a higher ratio for a more aggressive effect—just be careful that it doesn’t start to sound unnatural.
Blue VO!CE De-Esser
The De-Esser removes sibilance in your voice caused by ‘S’ sounds. Sibilance is a harsh sound caused by a rush of air that can be very distracting to your listeners. It works by compressing a specific frequency whenever that range exceeds the threshold. By default, the De-Esser targets frequencies at 8 kHz, but this can be adjusted in the settings tab. Depending on your voice, 8 kHz might sound great, while those with deeper voices might sound better around 5-6 kHz.
To set the De-Esser, open up the settings tab. Adjust the threshold so that the De-Esser kicks in every time you say a word with a strong ‘S’ sound. You may have to re-record your Mic Test with something like “She sells seashells by the sea shore” to accurately set the De-Esser.
You can also control how aggressively the De-Esser reacts using the attack, release and ratio controls. Attack time controls how quickly the De-Esser clamps down on ‘S’ sounds. Fast attack times help reduce signals quickly, but too fast can sound unnatural. Start with something around 5 ms and adjust as needed.
Release time controls how quickly the signal is returned to normal. If the release time is too fast, it can create a jittery effect—if it’s too slow it can cause a pumping sound. For best results, try to stay around 100 - 250 ms.
If you’re a particularly sibilant speaker, you may need to increase the ratio to clamp down even harder on your ‘S’ sounds. Most of the time, a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 should get the job done.
Blue VO!CE Compressor
The compressor reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal, making your voice sound louder and more consistent. It works by reducing the level of sounds above the threshold, while also increasing the level of quiet sounds.
To set the compressor, start speaking into the microphone and lower the threshold until you see the gain reduction meter at the bottom of the settings tab start to light up. Gain reduction is how much the compressor is turning down your voice. Aim for the meter to show 2-3 bars (3-6 dB) of gain reduction when speaking.
You can further tweak your sound with the attack, release and ratio settings. The attack time controls how quickly the signal is compressed and the release time controls how long it takes to return the signal back to normal.
Fast attack times ensure the compressor reacts quickly so no unwanted peaks sneak through. Release times can be tricky to set. Most voices benefit from a fast attack time around 2-5 ms.
Fast release times help discretely tame loud passages—but too fast can sound jittery and too slow can sound very obvious. This setting will vary from person to person, but a moderately fast release time around 100-200 ms is usually a good starting point.
The ratio controls how aggressively gain reduction is applied. The higher the ratio, the more aggressively the compressor clamps down on loud sounds. Start off with a moderate ratio of 3:1 for a natural sound.
Blue VO!CE Limiter
Ideal for those who tend to get excited on the mic, the limiter is a specialized compressor designed to keep your signal from peaking or distorting during loud passages. Limiters and compressors both affect dynamic range, but in different ways. The threshold of the limiter is permanently set at 0 dB, meaning it only engages when signals are in danger of clipping.
The limiter can also be used to increase the overall level of your voice. Simply raise the Boost control to increase the level, pushing your signal up against the limiter and making it sound louder. Just be careful not to over-do it, as too much limiting can make your voice sound over processed.
Open up the settings tab to tweak the attack and release times of the limiter. Typically, fast attack times are best to make sure nothing slips by the limiter. Otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally peaking if the limiter isn’t fast enough to catch every sound.
With a little experimentation, you should be able to dial in the perfect settings to give your voice that professional polish using Blue VO!CE broadcast vocal effects. After saving your custom presets, share them with the rest of the creative community by clicking the share icon next to the preset name.