Today we're going to look at products that allow you to add a second microphone to a mic that's already mounted on a mic clip and stand. Why would you need this? Maybe you are double mic'ing an instrument amplifier, placing two mics on a snare drum where one less mic stand is helpful, or setting up a stereo pair. We'll look at The X Clip first, a patented product that claims to be "the world's first dual microphone clip for pairing a [Shure] SM57 with most SDC (small diaphragm condenser) microphones." In fact, they say it can hold up to 150 different microphones, but I only had 100 to try! The X Clip works as advertised, slipping onto the SM57 and holding a Neumann KM 184 in place, even compensating for the tapered body of the SM57. It's easy to visually line up the front of the mics and keep them in place (see my thoughts on that at the end of this review). One problem with The X Clip is finding room on the SM57 body for The X Clip and the main mic stand clip. I didn't get to try one out, but the X Clip folks just offered The X Mount, an ingenious little mount that slips between the mics and The X Clip to provide a threaded mic mount below or above the pair. This could also help open up placement scenarios on drum kits and other tight spots. Cool idea.

Wilkinson Audio offers up a variety of plastic mic clip adapters, and I requested a few for mics I own. I received the SM57 to KM 184 Clip, ORTF Clip – KM 184, XY Clip – KM 184, and the Fredman SM57 Clip, but they also make clips for the AKG C 451, RØDE NT5, and even the Behringer ECM8000 (why?). The SM57 to KM 184 Clip is nearly the same as The X Clip above, except manufactured from a stiffer, less flexible plastic. It worked fine in practice, with all the same benefits as The X Clip, but the rigid plastic construction meant that a smaller variety of other, non-184, mics would fit into the clip, although while using the 184 it worked fine. I loved the two ORTF and XY Clips. I was able to save time, save stands, and pop up stereo pairs of mics accurately in ORTF and X/Y on the fly, which is pretty damn neat. But I had issues with pairs of these smaller, short bodied mics (184-style) fitting into their regular mic stand clips and also leaving room for the additional ORTF and XY clips to hold the second mic. I know it would be a whole other price point to add threaded mic stand mounts to these, but I would be happy to pay more for a dedicated stereo mic clip. The Fredman SM57 Clip is a great one when double mic'ing guitar cabinets with two SM57 mics. If you haven't tried the simple act of placing two of the same dynamic mics on a guitar amp, please do. It always adds in some depth to the tone that a solo mic never seems to capture!

One thought I have is that both of these companies should take some time to create data for their users. I would love to see charts and photos, with millimeter-based measurements, that would show users how to set up phase-accurate mic pairs for the The X Clip and the SM57 to KM 184 (and others) Clip. These could cover all the optional mics that fit in these clips, and it would also be educational about where the actual phase plane of each mic resides. I find that users are constantly misled by the external body shapes of mics when trying to line up capsules.

I think both these companies are both onto something, and that the world of mic clips could certainly be expanded with creative ideas from The X Clip and Wilkinson Audio.

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

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