Question on noise gating.

You don’t have to gate to dead zero. I believe you can tune the reduction.

Have you tried gentle noise reduction?

Noise Reduction is covered at the bottom of the ACX Mastering Suite posting.

Noise Gating is not recommended for audiobook reading. It’s really rough to hide the weird artifacts and we should remember, ACX Hates Processing. If they catch you with gate keying artifacts in your work, you may have trouble submitting the ninth book.

So let me read this back to you:

“I’ve read multiple audiobooks and everybody loves my work, so I’m going to mess with the sound until it stops working.”