In Line Attenuators

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by BobRogers, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I'm hoping to get an API 3124+ at the end of next week (been on backorder). I've been told to expect a very hot signal, so I may have to buy a bunch of inline attenuators. The only one that gets several hits is a search is the Audio-Technica AT8202. Any other brands to consider? If I'm going to dedicate 4 to the 3124, I don't need the switchable pad. Any brands to avoid?
  2. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Hey Bob,

    Here's something to consider:

    Since I own an A-Designs Pacifica, and the designer Peter Montessi is practically a neighbor, he gave me a couple of ATTYs to try.
    One of the uses was as a passive line attenuator after the Pacifica, and it works pretty well.

    These run under $80 street.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Both Hosa and Shure make them as well.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Bob, I can say this just doesn't add up.

    I've used my own API 312/3124, for over 25 years. They produce a standard output of + 4 from the rear XLR outputs and a slightly lower level from the 1/4" outputs which are also balanced. You don't need any in-line pad for these.

    If you think the level is too hot? Turn down the trim. Or take the 1/4" outputs if you're going into a -10 low line level input. Really.

    On the 3124m, the left & right outputs, from the mixer section, are not only unbalanced but there level adjust is actually a potentiometer slung directly on the output. So it is actually a stereo output adjustable pad. That's just for the stereo output from the internal mixer. Not the same from the direct preamp outputs.

    So don't bother with in-line pads unless the name is Stay-Free?
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    20 channels of 312
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Well, I was a little surprised to read the comments that said it had an unusually hot signal. I think the issue is that Boswell feels the 3124+ sounds best running hot. Of course, I'll see what it's like when the unit comes in, and I wasn't planning to plunk down for the pads unless I felt there was a problem. Figured it was a useful thing to know regardless. At any rate, it may be moot. I finally plunked down for a D25 breakout cable so I can use the line inputs on my OctoPre, and on the line inputs the level control goes from -10 to +10 dB, so I should have at least a little pad there if necessary.
  6. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    A switchable line attenuator can be a useful thing.
    once you have worked out what attenuation you want
    make one
    this one has a table for Microphones
    passive pads can be influenced by the load
    so don't just go by what the label says
    - double check the results then buy the parts
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Bob, you are quite correct in remembering that I mentioned using in-line attenuators on the API 3124+ outputs, which can go to +32dBu. BUT, it depends on what I am recording and what the API is driving. I use them only when I am recording jazz/folk/rock material (not classical) and I am driving my HD24XRs, which have a clip level of only +19dBu. For other use, I don't attenuate.

    With your Octopre, you shouldn't need external attenuators if you set the line in gain to -10dB, as that gives you +30dBu input levels before the limiter kicks in (if enabled) or +32dBu before the overload LED lights.

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