The A Designs ATTY is a 2 channel passive unit that only cost 100 bucks. It has a mute panic button on it and 2 balanced XLR outputs with 2 Neutrik inputs. You can use the A Designs ATTY for several uses; I mainly use it to control the levels of my monitors for my live sets. The A Designs ATTY is very easy to use and there is no set up or installation involved. It is plug and play. If I could change something on the A Designs ATTY I would add some sort of a meter so you could see the level in the dark because that is where I use it at the most. I have had the A Designs ATTY since 2009 and I have used it a bunch of times. I am still in search of the right unit to deliver what I am looking for. Not that the A Designs ATTY is not good it just is more for someone who has a simple set up and does not do much live work. It is difficult for me to use this anymore.
In the studio I use it with a Preamp. Using it does not make your signal weak and your sound quality will still sound clean.
The sound quality will not change while using the A Designs ATTY. It will keep your audio signal clean and warm to give you a great sound.
There really is nothing that I hate about the A Designs ATTY I just had a few things about it that I would change. But for the price of 100 you really cannot expect much more. Knowing what I know now I would make this choice again if I needed to and probably even buy another one if anything happened to mine. I have used many models of 2 channel units. Not to many of them in this price range though.
The ATTY is a stereo two channel passive line level attenuator box.
Controls are dead simple: a smooth feeling rotary pot for continuous signal attenuation, and a quality pushbutton for hard mute, both of which control both channels all the time.
The ATTY has Neutrik combo XLR & 1/4" TRS connectors for inputs, and goldpin XLRs for outputs. The only thing stopping me from rating this section as "Perfect" is that I'd have liked to see some parallel 1/4" TRS jacks at the output as well as the input.
The box itself is strong as a brick and is finished in A-Designs lovely but durable glossy black with quality silkscreening. My oldest ATTY is at least 6 years old now and still looks good.
This box is a general purpose unit for any line level signal attenuation. It has a good, smooth range of attenuation and a fairly linear taper.
My favorite uses are for digital tracking situations where I want to run an analog output hot, but have the signal hit a digital converter lightly for best headroom--so the ATTY is a natural to have inline between a mic preamp that I want to hit hard, but still have my signal into a digital converter peaking at no more than about -9dBfs. I especially appreciate the stereo nature of the ATTY between fast-transient stereo signals such as drum overhead mic pres and digital inputs. I also like to patch the ATTY inline between my analog console's 2mix out and digital converter ins when printing mixes into ProTools--I can cream the console's 2mix to my heart's extent but still get sober levels into ProTools by attenuating the post-2mix signal into the digital converters.
Many ITB users will find the ATTY to be a great, simple analog volume control between digital interface output sums and active studio monitor inputs--which is no doubt what A-Designs had in mind when offering a hard mute button on the unit.
I have three ATTYs (all of which I find routine use for) and I can't remember if they even came with a manual. There's one knob, one button and they're both labeled, what more is there to know?
Well, you're always going to lose a little bit when you're adding two more connection points to a signal chain, but the ATTY mitigates this with good quality, gold plated connections that don't tend to oxidize, and the passive nature of the unit means there's nothing to power up and add noise to, and as little as possible to additionally make the signal pass through. This all means that the ATTY does very little to harm your signal. It brings the level down and that's about it. No more, no less.
A-Designs is one of my very favorite gear makers. Overall, the ATTY is a great general purpose studio tool that does what I want it to as simply as possible--no more, no less. It's dead simple to use, quiet, and the quality is very good.
There's only one thing that particularly bugs me about this unit: when the level pot is almost at its lowest point of travel, one side of the stereo signal will drop out before the other. This is very common with passive attenuation, but it still would would have been swell if A-Designs had used a pot that gets around this and keeps both channels dead even 'til the bitter end of the pot's travel. The upshot is that I wouldn't use this box for an analog fade-out cue. Having some 1/4" TRS jacks at the output as well as input would have been nice too, though adapter patch cords get around that just fine. Otherwise, no complaints and this doesn't stop me using my ATTYs all the time to great effect. I would and did buy more.
The A-Designs ATTY is a unique device that is a stereo passive leveling box. It's made for a variety of purposes to get you extra level at whatever stage you're putting it at. It has two XLR inputs and outputs and has a built in mute button and volume control knob. It isn't rackable as it's a standalone box.
There's not much at all to using the A-Designs ATTY as once you make your connections you're more or less good to go. It only has a volume control knob and mute button as controls, which is definitely self explanatory. I think the main thing with the ATTY is setting it up and finding a proper usage for it. I haven't ever looked at the manual for this and don't expect to be needing to.
The A-Designs ATTY is a passive box and won't affect your sound quality positively or negatively. It's simply a line level controller so sound quality isn't really a consideration here. I will say that I haven't noticed any decline in quality when this box is being used, as it seems theory is correct here with this being passive...
While not everyone is going to have a need for A-Designs ATTY, for those who do this is a high quality option at a pretty reasonable price. A-Designs outlines all the uses for this on their site, but I've used it for volume control on a passive set of speakers for the most part, although it does float around at the studio and will sometimes be used for other purposes. It's something that's going to be needed as a necessity or utility and not as a luxury or tone item. Again, if you have a need for something like this, ATTY is one of the only of it's kind that I've seen and is one definitely worth exploring.