Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › What is mic ATT?
- August 22, 2008 at 3:13 PM #40102
Can someone please give me an explenation on mic ATT?
When and where will you use it or not use it?
MIC ATT is the switch to turn on or off the attenuation on the mic input. In simple terms, attenuation decreases the level of the input significantly. So in any situation where your audio input is too loud and distorting, you attenuate the signal and it should now record just fine. The most typical situation requiring attenuation is when you’d like to use a “line level” signal with a “mic in” input. Microphones generally have a very quiet signal, while line signals are quite robust & loud. Using the attenuator, the line signal from an audio mixer or the like can be reduced to where the mic input will be able to record it properly.
On my VX2100, the external audio input has a switch to select either a mic or a line signal. The main thing the switch does is to turn on the built-in attenuation for line inputs and turn it off for mic inputs. On some audio mixers, I’ve also seen the switch called a “pad.” But all three terms describe pretty much the same thing.
Hope this clears it up for you. Good luck with all your productions.
Hi Barefoot MediaThanks for the info it no makes more sense. Just want to know if I’m right if I say: You would then turn OFF your Mic ATT when you shoot in a very quite location for example in the wild (Animal sounds only)
Okay, I think I see what you are asking. And why you might be confused.
Possibly because my mind was focused on inputs due to previous posts. But I believe I totally missed the point in my first posting. While it applies to attenuation on input signals, it doesn’t address the function of the switch on a microphone. Oops!
You’re going in the right direction with the quiet location idea, but attenuation is only used in fairly loud conditions. So we don’t talk about using an attenuator until we have to. We want the strongest possible signal going to the recording device. So we only want to turn ON the attenuator when we want to make the mic less sensitive. Generally speaking, attenuation switches are a 30 dB drop in signal strength. The judgment about using the switch is determined by monitoring the audio signal in the camcorder. If you’ve got it lowered to the lowest 2 or 3 settings, try the switch.
I hope this is a better answer to your question. Good luck and so sorry.
Hi Barefoot Media
Thank you for your help so far. As a professional photographer taking on video now, it is quite easy as the 2 mediums are very similar now you just have moving images and then off course the sound. The sound and mic section is still very new to me and I’m trying my best to get that all figured out.
Thanks and keep well
PS: Sorry about the previous one, I don’t know what is going on with my PC. I typed the letter in word and paste it in here.
I can really relate. Back in college, I was a photojournalist with the daily campus newspaper. But I dropped out and piddled with fine art photos and teaching community ed classes in darkroom & basic camera techniques. But when I returned to finish my degree, one class in studio production (with tube cameras) set me off on a 25 year video career, so far. But I have to agree, dealing with audio was something I really had to work at. And there were a lot of less than stellar examples that really taught me some lessons.
So persevere and you’ll get the hang of it. And you won’t even need any luck to do it.