I'm trying to figure out a way to manage background noise in audio without having to resort to noise reduction. I'm using audacity to post-process spoken audio. The levels are pretty low, with peaks never breaking -20db.
The background hiss doesn't even register in the unprocessed raw audio, but if I normalize or run the compressor with normalization afterwards, the hiss gets amplified to around -43db. It seems the noise floor is ignored during normalization.
Is there a way to normalize audio with a noise floor, so I can leave anything below -55db or so untouched?