Very good. Just make sure that after you do a mock render, hit the back button. Do not render the file. Turn off the audio statistic plugin, then simple render your project. The audio statistic plugin is a real cpu hog.
The video below will explain the fields concerning the AS plugin.What is the best field in Audio Statistics to gauge noise floor? I am not sure it is below the -60 required by ACX.
I never recommend using compression for speech. More then likely, the volume adjustment plugin had nothing to do with adding noise to your recording. It was added when you applied compression. Trust me, I see this all the time. When compression is added to speech, it will make your voice sound warmer, as you mentioned. This is the down side. It also raises you noise floor. It is just that simple as that is what compressors and made to do. They lower the peaks (loudest parts) of your audio, so the softer parts and become louder, without clipping the louder parts of your audio.The volume adjustment unsurprisingly made the white noise louder. The vocal sounds pretty warm too, as in over-compressed, not in a really flawed way, but I think that was probably how I was micing with the SM57 and pop filter.
Believe it or not, you probably already knew this, but you just did not realize it. I am sure you use compression when you sing with that wonderful voice you have. When it comes to mixing/mastering music, the noise floor normally will never have to be dealt with, as the voice and instruments will always be louder, then any background noise that may have been picked up during the recording. I am not saying that you do not need to use basic recording skills, I am just saying that as long as you record in a proper environment concerning music, you should never have a problem with the noise floor.
You cannot use the same method for recording speech, as you use for recording music. With music you can skate by concerning noise. In speech, it is the noise floor that is one of the most important things that will need to be addressed. As far as how you set up the sm57, try doing this and see how you like it. Please let me know.
1. Remove the pop filter if it is a metal screen attached externally.
2. Place a thick wool winter sock over the head of the sm57.
3. Set the mic up to where you are speaking directly into it. Now, turn the mic about 15 degrees left or right, off axis so you are speaking past it, and not directly into it.
4. Make sure your input level hovers around a -18dbs, rinse, lather and repeat.