So, I Clearly Don't Understand Audio Production

Hmm, you said Reaplugs was free... but it's showing me that it's not; it's a 60 day trial. Is there a difference in what you have than what I just downloaded?

The plugins are not showing up in VSTHost. Yes, I did it exactly like he did in the video. I"ve done it with both 32 and 64 bit versions of both VSTHost and ReaPlugs.

The Reaplugs are free, I don't know what you downloaded.

Check the plugin path in VSTHost or try and add them one at a time with File / New Plugin.

Good luck!

I think ReaPlugs come with an installer package, but VST plugins are like Skyrim Mods - they are just .dll files which are placed in a specified folder for you host to locate (Typically in /Program Files/VST or the Program Files (x86) equivalent)

If you are still having problems, I can render my video - maybe it will have a little more information. I didn't use VSTHost, in my video I show how to use the plugins in Premiere.

I downloaded/installed Reaper, not the ReaPlugs. Oops. Ooookkkk, NOW I will eventually get back to work and report back with information on the progress.

Generally a usb powered condenser mic will attribute distortion which will lead to clipping no matter what. Having a mic that has the proper amount of power output before being amped gives you enough head room to take out unwanted volume which leads to clipping. The simplest solution is to go pure analog. Just get a 40$ omni professional mic and a phantom power supply. And a xlr to 3.5mm cable that goes into the soundcard.