Recording to computer hard drives has created an environment where only a few studios have actual tape recorders. Still, as long as there are consoles to be labeled, no studio will really be “tapeless”.
Shurtape acquired the brand Permacel P-724 several years ago and incorporated it into their line of tape products intended for arts and entertainment production.
Shurtape is one of the largest tape manufacturers in the world and their products are prized by hands on techs in film, video, theatre and special event production.
One of the great features of using a Sharpie Marker for console labeling is that, once it has dried, you can rub your hands across the label strip all night long and it never smudges.
That feature is not so great when the cap on the marker in your pocket comes off without you knowing it.
I can’t count the number of times I have ruined a pair of pants by having Sharpie ink leak through the pocket.
Here are some tips from the Marker manufacturer for removing Sharpie stains.
Clothes-Use hand sanitizer
Wood-Use rubbing alcohol
Carpet-Use white vinegar
Glass-Use 1 part toothpaste and 1 part baking soda
We’ve discussed in the past that PH neutral/acid free tapes are the best for console labeling. They are the best way to insure that no damage is done to the finish of a piece of expensive sound or lighting equipment when the label tape is left in place for a long time.
With the recent popularity of console (artist) tape in colors, users need to know that only the white version of this product is acid free.
One of the things most prized about a Sharpie Marker when labeling a console is that it is indelible. It quickly dries and once it does it is indelible. You can sweat on it, spill on it and rub your hands across it and your labels remain eligible.
Unfortunately, lots of console labeling is done in the dark and sometimes things get Sharpie ink on them when that was not your intention.
Here’s a link to a page of handy tips about removing Sharpie marks from places you don’t want them.
Our favorite remedy is to use toothpaste!
While you can always order it online, you might not be able to find it locally, at least if you call what you are looking for “console” tape.
Try looking for “artist tape” instead. It has the same paper and adhesive properties as console tape, but it is sold in art supply and stationary stores, and is intended for a very different use.
Artists use it for temporary layouts and to affix things like watercolor paper to backings temporarily to keep it from moving. Crafters and scrapbook makers like it because the adhesive is non-acidic and doesn’t damage delicate papers.
You can find it a most major craft supply outlets.
We recently came across a new term that makes more sense than it should.
The term is “scribble tape”.
If you’ve ever had to step up and mix a set after another sound person has labeled the console, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Most audio visual system failures begin as cable failures, so it is not unusual to have to trouble shoot and fix a problem on the fly, while an event is going on. More times than not, you’ll be doing it in the dark.
Temporary labels put on critical cables for one time use can be a huge help when trying to take on these challenges.
Don’t forget to remove the label when the event is over, so that you don’t mistake an old label for a one related to a current event.
If you want to make sure you hang on to your console marking tape until the last inch is used, take your Sharpie Marker and write your name on the inside of the hub. That way, no one can say “I thought it was mine”.
We call Shurtape 724 “console tape”, and it has been the tape of choice for sound pros for console marking for many years.
It is actually much more commonly known as “artist tape”. Graphic artists like it for doing layout work because it can be removed without damaging surfaces and can be re-positioned and still stick.
You can find it at art supply stores and stores that specialize in crafting supplies.