Attenuators, I’m confused?

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    • #41692
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Hi, Can anyone help and advice on Attenuators. So many out there I’m con fused.

    • #176451
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Trevor,

      An attenuator is an electronic device that helps reduce sound without distortion. You can also passively ‘attenuate‘ sound by reducing it’s ‘flow rate’ by blocking or filtering the incoming sound. For examples of passive attenuation, foam mic coverings, fuzzy muffs and chamois are used to cover a mic to cut down on the strength of the sound coming in and sound blankets arranged around the intended sound source block the wavelengths of incoming unwanted ambient sound.

      For electronic attenuation, your prosumer and pro recording devices usually have built-in attenuators but you can purchase additional external devices such as power attenuators or coaxial connectors. Built-in attenuators in such cameras and audio recorders are activated by switching your audio recording selector from ‘manual’ to ‘auto’. Some devices will have an ‘attenuator’ switch on the device instead of ‘auto’.

    • #176452
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Thanks for the advice, can you recommend supplier or make as they cost from a couple of dollars to tens of dollars for electronic attenuators.

    • #176453
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Would it not depend on what you are trying to film? Filtering out high frequencies wouldn’t do much good if you were recording in an area with a lot of low frequency background noise.

    • #176454
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Trevor,

      The attenuators I most commonly deal with are either built-in or ‘mocked-up’. The best mocked-up attenuator I’ve worked with is leather chamois. I do a lot of work in high-end industrial environments and you’d be surprised at how just wrapping a mic in 2 or 3 layers of chamois can help filter sound. If you’re looking for electronic attenuators, try outfits like Markertek or Radio Shack.

      Mazda,

      The main thing you utilize an attenuator for is to get ‘usable’ audio. Having worked in super noisey environments like factories, aircraft carriers and racing venues I can attest that your not going to get ‘clean’ audio from your subject. But, in such environments you can get usable audio using a combination of electronic attenuation and mocked-up filters like the one I just mentioned. If the ambient noise level is so high that even attenuation doesn’t help, your only other option is voice-over if your subject is speaking on camera.

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