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Best inline attenuator pad adapters? Condenser Microphones
Old 31st October 2010
  #31
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SteelyDani's Avatar
I'm kind of confused. The 3124+ has 20dB pad switch. In this case what’s the purpose of inserting an attenuator between the mic and the preamp.

On the other hand many of my mics have an attenuator switch: U87i, TLM 170, C414, C451, MC930.. while others generate a week output: dynamics and ribbons. Obviously they are other mics as M149’s that have a very hot output and no attenuation. I love them in omni as BD in.

Many people in GS claim that using the 3124+ pad would degrade its sound avoiding getting the "sweet spot", while others disagree with this assessment because the pad is after the input transformer which therefore could be properly saturated. The first ones recommend padding at the output of the preamp instead of at the input. Finally I like to mention that there are even some GS’s that are of the opinion that all kind of attenuators (input and output) deteriorate the sound.
Old 31st October 2010
  #32
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelyDani View Post
The 3124+ has 20dB pad switch. In this case what’s the purpose of inserting an attenuator between the mic and the preamp.
Unpadded mic inputs for drums often gave me too much gain in the front end so I would employ pads. The 26 dB pads on my board were always way too much attenuation and even the 20 dB pads on the 3124 were a little too much so I built a bunch of 13 dB pads that I use for drums and that puts me in the "sweet spot" that I'm looking for.
Whatever gets you there!heh
Old 1st November 2010
  #33
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demor View Post
I don't get it, don't most decent consoles have a pad button before the pre? Did all the manufacturers skimp on that one for their "boutique" pre series?
No, the API preamps definitely have a pad on every channel, -20 dB. Sometimes that's not enough, though. A lot of the very best studio drummers really hit the kit hard. I'm not talking about a spastic player, just someone who really gets a lot of tone out of each drum using their forearms, even while maintaining great control and subtlety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
If the point is to get the best S/N ratio then you'd want to do the opposite. You'd want the most level possible going in to the API before distortion, and the most level possible going in to the converters without distortion (not that it matters quite as much with converters as it does with mic pres). The only reason to put the pad before the pre would be if you're clipping the input of the pre itself, which is pretty unlikely on a 3124.
Of course maximizing S/N ratio is the point a lot of the time. In this situation, however, S/N ratio is really the last thing you're worried about. You've got a preamp with relatively little internal noise and a big, fat, hot signal coming off the kick or the snare. Even with two pads combining to lower the signal by 44 dB, noise is still just not an issue at all. Trust me, you'd have trouble finding a studio that's more into reducing noise than we are. If it were a problem, we'd be all over it.

Once you conclude that noise is not an issue either way, the only question is, what sounds better, and what works better?

Quote:
The sweet spot could be in either direction, assuming that's what you're looking for. Either one could be appropriate.
See, you're talking about what the sweet spot "could be," and I'm talking about what the sweet spot actually is, in our experience. The difference is quite subtle, but using more gain on the preamp in this case just sounds a little better. If you like the sound of the API's gain stage -- and obviously we do -- this way gives you more of that sound.

In short: This is what works best, in our view, and I'd be surprised if others found it to be a problem given the same gear.

JSL
Old 7th November 2010
  #34
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666666's Avatar
So I contacted GAS and ordered a GAS A-10. Wow! Awesome! First of all, incredible service, excellent communication, and I received the unit only a few days after ordering.

The unit itself is of the highest caliber. Top-notch build quality. VERY nice. Excellent design. So far it sounds great (meaning I can't hear it), haven't yet conducted a super critical listening test, but I have a lot of faith in it so far.

This A-10 is the perfect compliment to the Little Labs Redcloud. It does what the Redcloud can't do (repeatable stepped settings), and vise-versa (unlimited sweepable control). With a GAS A-10 and Redcloud on hand, all attenuation duties are covered in the professional realm.

For kicks, I'll likely conduct a critical listening test at some point with all the attenuators I have here, to see if there are any weak ones in the bunch... will post back with updates. But again, so far the Redcloud and GAS A-10 are making me very happy.

Thanks to Little Labs and GAS Audio for filling the needs of professional audio engineers.

GAS - A-10 Attenuator




Little Labs Redcloud




Old 7th November 2010
  #35
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druhms's Avatar
O
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demor View Post
I don't get it, don't most decent consoles have a pad button before the pre? Did all the manufacturers skimp on that one for their "boutique" pre series?
Not everyone tracks with pre's on consoles or new boutique gear. I think a good exampl many people have in mind are the classic API's.

By the way, I have a bag of Shure pads and have never complained. But, if I'd have to buy them all again, I'd get the Little Labs box just for convenience, but then you have the dsub expense. I guess it might equal out in the end. If it were a permanent install, then definitely. The 4 channel rack mounted units take up too much real estate for me.
JJ
Old 5th May 2011
  #36
It seems like people are discussing two types of attenuators in here, am I wrong? The type that goes between the mic and pre, and the type that goes between the pre the converters (or comp, etc if not going direct to converters).

I need an attenuator to use with my Pacifica so I can record loud vocals without engaging the Pacific's -20 pad. Either using tube or solidsate LDC.

I presume I want to attenuate the mic signal prior to reaching the Pacific, yes?
I am considering this one from Schoeps.. Open to more input though.
MDZ 20 U,20 dB In-line Attenuator XLR-M/F,Schoeps

What do they mean, in reference to "parallel powered" mic?
Old 7th May 2011
  #37
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jslevin's Avatar
Why would you want or need to avoid the Pacifica's pad?

JSL
Old 7th May 2011
  #38
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotekells View Post
It seems like people are discussing two types of attenuators in here, am I wrong? The type that goes between the mic and pre, and the type that goes between the pre the converters (or comp, etc if not going direct to converters).

I need an attenuator to use with my Pacifica so I can record loud vocals without engaging the Pacific's -20 pad. Either using tube or solidsate LDC.

I presume I want to attenuate the mic signal prior to reaching the Pacific, yes?
I am considering this one from Schoeps.. Open to more input though.
MDZ 20 U,20 dB In-line Attenuator XLR-M/F,Schoeps

What do they mean, in reference to "parallel powered" mic?
I think you have that backwards. The earlier thread regarding using or not using the pad on the Pacifica had a general consensus to use a pad on the output of the Pacifica. Of course try both ways and use what sounds best to you.
Old 7th May 2011
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Why would you want or need to avoid the Pacifica's pad?
JSL
There is a noticeable change in the sound when switching the pad. While I'm not yet sure from my own experience, which I prefer (or for which recordings), I want to have the option to use either at any time. However, high output mic with loud vocal is a no go with pad out, unless I get an adapter. So I can't really try (much less use) for that situation without getting an inline adapter. On my acoustic guitar tests, with Pad in it seems different after level matching. More bass, and just .. different vibe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I think you have that backwards. The earlier thread regarding using or not using the pad on the Pacifica had a general consensus to use a pad on the output of the Pacifica.
You are partially correct. I notice there is back and forth discussion/argument in this thread about padding input vs. output too however.
Old 7th May 2011
  #40
Lives for gear
It seemed a lot of posters in this thread were talking about using pads in the context of the API which seems to have some unique history of it's own apart from the Pacifica and the thread specific to that pre. The Pacifica users seemed to be focused on the cleanest open sound without added drive or lows. And the implication of how the mic is loaded when using the pad on output as versus before the pre.
Old 8th May 2011
  #41
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotekells View Post
There is a noticeable change in the sound when switching the pad.
Well I should hope so! A 20 db change in gain is huge!

All kidding aside, you really should not be hearing a change in frequency response in this situation. Sometimes you can hear a big difference around the highest gain settings on a preamp, but we're talking about the low-to-mid settings in this situation.

There are two probable explanations. One is that the unit is not functioning properly, and you really should talk to A-Designs about that. The other is that you're noticing something that's really happening somewhere else in the signal chain, or (forgive me) possibly even imagining. It is hard to A/B differences when the two examples are even 2 db apart, let alone 20.

I believe the designers will confirm that you should not be hearing a difference, but it's definitely worthwhile to ask.

JSL
Old 8th May 2011
  #42
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giraffe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Best? I don't know. Never did a shoot-out.

But these work great (scroll down to the last item, "MPD inline attenuators").

We have four and have never had a moment's pause about sound quality. Usually placed between the drum mics and an API preamp.

And they are inexplicably dirt cheap! Just ordered two more for the studio and four more for one of our engineers who does a lot of remote work.

JSL
link dead, got a new one?
Old 29th January 2017
  #44
I wonder if this would work as well as the gas a-10?
Naiant Studio - MPD inline attenuator

I use it all the time as a mic attenuator b4 the pre I got the 18db one and the 12 db one, but was thinking of getting the line attenuator adapters for drums for my API 3124. Much cheaper than the gas but would it sound the same? Anyone used both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
So I contacted GAS and ordered a GAS A-10. Wow! Awesome! First of all, incredible service, excellent communication, and I received the unit only a few days after ordering.

The unit itself is of the highest caliber. Top-notch build quality. VERY nice. Excellent design. So far it sounds great (meaning I can't hear it), haven't yet conducted a super critical listening test, but I have a lot of faith in it so far.

This A-10 is the perfect compliment to the Little Labs Redcloud. It does what the Redcloud can't do (repeatable stepped settings), and vise-versa (unlimited sweepable control). With a GAS A-10 and Redcloud on hand, all attenuation duties are covered in the professional realm.

For kicks, I'll likely conduct a critical listening test at some point with all the attenuators I have here, to see if there are any weak ones in the bunch... will post back with updates. But again, so far the Redcloud and GAS A-10 are making me very happy.

Thanks to Little Labs and GAS Audio for filling the needs of professional audio engineers.

GAS - A-10 Attenuator




Little Labs Redcloud




Old 31st January 2017
  #45
Anyone?
Old 31st January 2017
  #46
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsthalion View Post
I wonder if this would work as well as the gas a-10?
Naiant Studio - MPD inline attenuator

I use it all the time as a mic attenuator b4 the pre I got the 18db one and the 12 db one, but was thinking of getting the line attenuator adapters for drums for my API 3124. Much cheaper than the gas but would it sound the same? Anyone used both?
It should sound the same because it should have no sound at all. That should work fine, as do the cheap ones from Shure and Audio Technica. There really isn't too much to them.
Old 31st January 2017
  #47
Great tnx!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
It should sound the same because it should have no sound at all. That should work fine, as do the cheap ones from Shure and Audio Technica. There really isn't too much to them.
Old 31st January 2017
  #48
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
It should sound the same because it should have no sound at all. That should work fine, as do the cheap ones from Shure and Audio Technica. There really isn't too much to them.
Yep.. usually an inline pad is made with 3 resistors.
Avedis makes one as well made for going in with a line signal into the MA5..

the real costs are the quality of the metal parts (body) and the time soldering/mounting them.



Cheu
Old 1st February 2017
  #49
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jslevin's Avatar
The Naiant pads are perfectly fine.
Old 1st February 2017
  #50
Thanx just ordered 4 for my 3124 I if it works great I just saved 400$!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
The Naiant pads are perfectly fine.
Old 1st February 2017
  #51
I checked out the avedis pads but it's not made to go between the pre out to the ad in. :(
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Yep.. usually an inline pad is made with 3 resistors.
Avedis makes one as well made for going in with a line signal into the MA5..

the real costs are the quality of the metal parts (body) and the time soldering/mounting them.



Cheu
Old 1st February 2017
  #52
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsthalion View Post
I checked out the avedis pads but it's not made to go between the pre out to the ad in. :(
They were though to go from a line level (output from converters or any other outboard gear or mixer output) to the input of a preamp (specifically the MA5).



Cheu
Old 1st February 2017
  #53
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Silvertone's Avatar
Here's a review of the Karma Pads I did a couple years back.

I have the in front of my Electrodyne 201A tube pre's for my drums.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/revi...phone-pad.html

Silvertone Mastering
Old 1st February 2017
  #54
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
Looks like I just bought the last one they had in stock.

Total I now own 9 of these. I need one more of these as my Melcor mic pres do -10, -20 and -50 for their gain structure and of course nine times out of ten I need around -30. So I will be buying one more once they stock up.

I saw they used my GS review as a testimonial on their site... funny.

Silvertone Mastering
Old 5th May 2018
  #55
Gear Head
 

Good night people.
I'm a layman on the subject.
I would like some help.
My Yamaha M1532 console has two inputs on each channel - M1 and M2. All at microphone level.
I wanted line inputs to do mixdown on the console.
What suggestion of attenuators? Which resistors (Type "H") could I put on XLR inputs? (M2).
greetings
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