A microphone, most often abbreviated mic but also mike, is a tool for converting sound waves to electric current, usually for the purposes of amplification, recording, or transmitting. Microphones may be designed to pick up sound from a single direction, from several directions, or from all around. In use, they may be held or affixed to a stand or an article of clothing with a device known as a microphone clip.
Because some microphone clips are meant to attach a microphone to a weighted stand, while others are meant to attach a microphone to a person’s shirt, lapel, or necktie, the microphone clip can have the function of rendering the microphone immobile or extremely mobile. Because the clip that works with a microphone stand and the clip that attaches to clothing are not interchangeable, this is one of the first questions of functionality that would help determine the best microphone clip for a particular purpose.
A stand microphone clip is generally made of molded plastic with a female threaded insert in its base that allows it to affix it to the top of a microphone stand. The c-shaped or o-shaped slot into which the back end of the microphone slides may be attached with a swivel screw, so that the angle can be adjusted. This type of microphone clip holds the microphone by the tight fit of the mic base in the holder: it slides in and slides out. Less common is the stand clip with a clothespin action. With this type of clip, the microphone is grasped by the spring action of the holder. The standard color for all types of microphone clips is black.
A clip-on microphone clip that is made to attach to a person’s clothing may be made for general use or for a particular microphone. While some models have a clothespin type clip, there are those made with a safety-pin type clip or an alligator style clip as well. Still other styles include a tie tack or a tie pin. The viper clip, named for the two straight pins on the back, which are used to attach it and which resemble a viper’s fangs, can be used to discreetly place a mic inside of clothing.