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Attenuate or Attenuation

Attenuate or Attenuation: A decrease in the level of a signal (contrast amplify). Why would you do this? A microphone attenuator reduces the output of a microphone and protects the inputs of the recorder from becoming overloaded and therefore distorted.  Microphone attenuators appear on recorders, usually with a variety of Decibel settings. Standard attenuators on a field recorder are anywhere from -10db to -30db and allow recorders to utilize microphones that differ in sensitivities and outputs.  Example: the preamps on the Marantz PMD 660 digital audio recorder were easily overwhelmed by high-output microphones such as the Audio Technica AT 825 and often required attenuation in order to achieve optimal recording levels. [ Audio Glossary ]

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