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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.