While organizing my mic cabinets recently, I decided to replace some of the crappy plastic mic clips that I’ve collected over the years. Some of the cheap clips I bought separately, some came with low-cost mics, while others came with expensive Sennheiser, Neumann, and AKG mics. And some mics, like my Gefell condensers and Royer ribbons, never came with clips to begin with. The ones included with my Audio-Technica mics were by far the best engineered and most durable, so without hesitation, I ordered more Audio-Technica clips to supplement the ones already in my collection. Three of the models I ordered multiples of, because I feel they are studio and stage essentials: the AT8470 and AT8456a from the trademarked Quiet-Flex series, and the AT8471 isolation clip. The two Quiet-Flex ones are designed to hold standard vocal mics and wireless vocal mics, respectively, but I use the smaller AT8470 with my Royer and Beyerdynamic ribbons, Groove Tubes medium-diaphragm condensers, AKG condensers both small and large, and of course, handheld-style dynamics from various manufacturers. The AT8456a is great for bigger-barreled mics, including my AKG C 1000S and even my 1.5’’ diameter SE Electronics R-1 ribbon. Quiet-Flex refers to the rubbery wings that grab the mic. The material is flexible, and it doesn’t make much noise when you attach or detach a mic — whether you slide the mic in from its rear, or push the mic through the opening of the wings. The material also provides just the right amount of clamping friction, and it’s unbreakable. The AT8471 is a different, unique design, in that it utilizes a thumbscrew to clamp itself fully around the barrel of a mic. The material of the clamp is dense and flexible enough to provide some mechanical damping and isolation. I purchased a bunch of AT8471s for my many ~ 21mm diameter condensers from Gefell, AKG, Neumann, and Oktava. Another unique feature of the AT8471 is a turnhandle for the pitch angle. Most compact mic clips require a coin (or the back of key) to adjust clutch tension. The AT8471 requires just your own fingers — awesome. All of Audio-Technica’s mic clips utilize a brass insert for the threads, so you don’t have to worry about undue wear or cross-threading. If you’re frustrated with the cheap mic clips that came with your mics, or you need replacements for missing clips, Audio-Technica gets my top recommendation.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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