I realize that it is VERY close to ACX check
Don’t fall in love with reading directly into ACX. While it is possible sometimes to do that, you may be accidentally creating inaudible errors. Many home systems create rumble and earthquake sounds in the background. They’re almost impossible to hear, but they are sound and they can throw off your voice loudness and peak values.
We produced an Audiobook Mastering Suite of tools to solve all your problems. Or at least all your audiobook problems.
That’s an extraction from here.
Low Rolloff gets rid of the rumble, RMS Normalize sets RMS (oddly enough) and the Limiter gently pushes the blue wave peaks into compliance. If you read in a quiet, echo-free room, you may be done. One design goal was to use tools that don’t do anything if they’re not needed. Another was to have your reading sound the same before and after (with a possible volume shift) and no audible damage.
It’s all automatic.
I am surprised that the gain on my Scarlett Solo is almost all the way to max.
I’m not. You ran into an odd manufacturer “solution.” Most home systems feature restrained volume. If you record slightly low, in almost all cases, you can boost the volume to where it’s needed in post production and go make coffee. If you overload a sound channel on reading, that will produce clipping which is permanent, instantly obvious, sounds terrible, and will destroy your show. More importantly, it makes you want to send the microphone back. Restrained volume makes you think you’re doing something wrong.
Don’t run the volume all the way up. Stop just short of that. Home systems can sound funny at the extremes. Do you get a green flashing knob during recording? That’s normal.
Turn the INST knob all the way down and don’t press the AIR button.
Are you listening to your own voice with the Solo headphone connection? That’s recommended because it helps keep your overall volume in check.
If you have trouble with P-Popping or other breath noises, back off slightly to a Hawaiian Shaka spacing.
You can go back in to a fist spacing with a pop and blast filter.
Post a sample of your announcing according to this formula.