Now, I see tons of threads and pages talking about what you can do to beef up your sound and all that, and, of course, everyone is different and they have to work to find the settings that works best for them, and I’ve found that those steps work well for my voice.
What I never see is if there is an order in which some of this should be done in,
For example, am I doing the compressor too early?
Should the EQ steps be done later?
I just need to know if there are certain steps that MUST be done before other steps.
Most professionals aren’t using any effects except possibly compression and/or limiting (limiting is a kind of fast dynamic compression).
Radio stations are required to have a limiter because it’s illegal to over-modulate and announcers & DJs will occasionally (or frequently) get slightly too-loud and trigger the limiter.
Limiting is almost always needed for audiobooks in order to hit the loudness & peak requirements.
The low roll-off for speech shouldn’t hurt. (It’s supposed to eliminate low-frequency noise without affecting the voice.)
Noise reduction is OK too as long as you aren’t getting side effects. If the noise is bad, you can get side-effects.
EQ can be used if there is something “wrong” with the microphone. (Or if there’ s something “wrong” with your voice. )
Loudness normalization is OK too, but watch out for clipping. Depending on your loudness target, boosting the volume (by any means) can push the peaks into clipping. If that happens you can run the limiter to knock-down the peaks. (Do that before exporting because otherwise the exported file may be permanently clipped.)