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Distortion/gain question

Subject: Distortion/gain question
From: "esandhaus" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 05:06:59 -0000
Hi everyone:

Please forgive me for reposting this question, but I'm afraid it may
have gotten lost on the long/old thread I had posted it on previously
I am using an old machine, the DA-P1, with an AT835b, to record giant
panda vocalizations in a captive setting. I understand that there can
be problems with signal distortion when the input is too high.

What I am less clear on is the issue of distortion that has been
reported to occur at lower gain knob settings with the DA-P1 (and
certain other machines).  I have seen advice to use the -20db
attenuator in situations where one is forced to set the gain knob
below 3.5 to stay within headroom. I have indeed encountered this
situation while recording certain vocalizations.  I think I understand
from these posts (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the distortion
occurs in this case because the attenuation from the gain knob in the
DA-P1 is happening *after* the signal has already reached the mic
preamplifier. I have two questions. 1. How does the -20db attenuator
work =96 what exactly does it do here? 2. Are there any drawbacks to
using it when the recordings are to be used for bioacoustic analysis?

Thank you, and I do apologize if this has been addressed before!



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