People who create temporary labels for sound consoles focus, rightly so, on “the horizontal”. By that, I mean that the primary purpose of the label is to indicate what microphone is represented by each input on the mixing desk. Normally the labels go directly under the mix fader and include information like “vocal”, “bass”, “kick drum”, etc.
Since most mixers are a long row of identical control strips, the labels make sure that the tech doing the mixing is moving the correct fader to make the changes they want.
The use of half-inch wide console tape allows you to expand this labeling to mark additional information about every control knob for each individual console input. Using tape that will fit between the fader strips means that you can also make notes and marks about equalization, aux sends, monitor mixes etc. It dramatically improves your ability to retain detailed information when you have dialed in a mix that you need to recreate later.
Add a roll of half-inch label tape and a fine point Sharpie to your tool kit if you regularly find yourself sharing a console with other acts. It’s essential during festival season.
Not all label tapes are created equal. Shurtape P724 is unsurpassed when it comes to temporary labeling on high dollar audio equipment.
Slang terms for tape are something of a hobby around here, and we’re always on the lookout for new ones.
The latest is “scribble strip” which is apparently a term used to describe the tape applied to a mixing console for labeling the inputs.
Use it at your own risk and expect to be laughed out of the venue by a real pro audio professional.
When I used to mix sound regularly, it seemed like every time I turned around, my console tape had disappeared.
It turns out that there are lots of uses besides console labeling on event and show sites.
Here are some other uses you might try
Temporary posting of signs like dressing room assignments
Post daily schedules
Labels on patch cables
Make direction arrows on the floor
Mark edges of the stage and steps
Create “pre” show setup diagrams on the floor
Spike marks on the floor
Temporary name tags
Bored with the usual white console tape? Time to bust out the good stuff!
Pro Tapes and specialties now offers console tape in lots of colors.
You can get it in standard colors like red, yellow and blue and also in neon, glow in the dark colors like orange, green and pink.
All have the same quality non-residue adhesive like the white stuff and there is no Sharpie Marker print through.
Rolls of tape on sets and stages have a way of sprouting legs and walking away. A request to “borrow” a little tape quickly turns into a permanent borrowing. The borrower had good intentions regarding returning the tape, but it just never happened. At the end of the day it wound up in somebody else’s tool box, someone who had managed to convince themselves that the tape was theirs.
You’ve got a roll of console labeling tape and you’ve got a Sharpie Marker in your pocket. Time to solve this problem.
Write your name on the inner hub of the tape roll so that whomever borrows it will be sure that it s never theirs. Better yet, write “stolen from )your name)”.
That roll of tape will magically find its way back to you, or most of it anyway.
Some mixing consoles (festival, club, etc.) get relabeled constantaly. It is not unusual to generate new labels several times in a single day.
Other consoles, those used by touring acts, may not need relabeling for months.
The “repositionable” adhesive that is admired because of clean removal will eventually cause the tape to curl up at the edges. Attempts to stick it back down become less and less successful.
If you find yourself in this situation, use just a little more tape for your label strip, wrapping it around both edges of the mixing desk.
That will make it less likely to curl and release, since the tape that is wrapped around the edges never comes in contact with your hands.
The repositionable adhesive on Shurtape 724 console labeling tape is subject to curling when exposed to high heat. If the surface you apply the tape to is very warm, the tape will slowly release from the console surface and start to curl up on its ends. As long as the tape and the mixer are both hot, no matter how many times you press the tape down, it will curl up again.
If you have options on where you apply tape labels, use the surface area on the console that is coolest to the touch.
One of the often overlooked qualities of Shurtape 724 console labeling tape is that it is “PH neutral”. PH is a measure of acidic someting is, and the adhesive in Shurtape 724 falls in the middle of the scale between acidic and alkaline.
PH specifically meas “potential of hydrogen” and in the case of tape, it references how likely console tape is to cause corrosion.
Since it is not uncommon for labels on electronic equipment to stay in place for many months, knowing that the tape adhesive will not interact with the paint and screen printing on a piece of equipment makes a big difference.
You can count on this “neutrality” of Shurtape 724 to protect expensive equipment and sensitive surfaces.
If you’re tired of labeling your mixer with the same old white paper tape night after night, maybe it’s time to try a neon color.
Pro Tapes Artist Tape comes in four neon colors.