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.
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.
The more a mixing console is used, the more problems you may have getting label tape to stick.
The big culprit here (unless you spilled a beer on your mixer) is skin oil. This invisible contaminant builds up a little every time you touch the desk, and is even more of a problem if you are sweating.
The oils in your hands and in your sweat reject the adhesive on the tape, causing it to curl and slip on a surface that may appear clean to the eye.
A quick rub with a hand wipe is ususally enough to solve the problem.
Larger buildups may require using a lint free cloth with a little mild soap. Alcohol will work as well.
Whatever you use, make sure you completely dry it off.
We’ve wriiten about console tape specs before, explaining why terms like “adhesion to steel” and “flatback” matter when evaluating a console tape.
Another specification that deserves attention is the term “elongation”.
Elongation is a fancy word to describe, in quantifiable terms, how “stretchy” a tape is. Does it stay the same length and width when force is applied to the ends or the sides.
This is particularly important in a festival or other multi-act performance where the sound person will create a separate strip of console tape for each act during sound checks and then put the appropriate tape back on the console when that act is set to perform. Not only will the tape have the name of what each console channel is used for, but it may well have lots of other information like levels, eq and limiter settings and notes that are relevant only to that performer.
Tape that stretches may well not line up correctly below the console faders, leading the sound person who is quite often working in semi-darkness to apply the information on the tape to the wrong console input.
Shurtape 724 has an elongation spec of 2.5%, meaining that, at maximum, before tearing it will only stretch (elongate) 2.5 %, making it easy to line up on the console without confusion.
The paper tape that sound techs use for console labeling is used for lots of other purposes. The market for console labeling is not really large enough to justify the manufacturing of a dedicated product for this task, so the best console labeling tape is adapted from a product intended for a mor general use.
Major manufactures market a flat back paper tape with repositionable adhesive as “Artist Tape”, because the user base for tape used for layout and masking is much larger than what is used by sound technicians.
If you are unable to locate a product called console tape, check with an arts supply store. You might find what is essentially a tape for console labeling there.
I came across a discussion recently about mixer labeling on a pro sound forum. A forum member had asked how other members labeled consoles when there were multiple acts with quick changeover times.
One interesting response came from someone who had applied a piece of dry erase marker board to the label section of his mixer. At first this seemed like a useful idea, but, on further reading, the person who posted this idea talked about how he had to “train” himself to not rub his hands across the board after it was labeled. Clearly, this could be a big problem, particularly if you wiped your labels 30 seconds before the set started.
We have a better idea.
Permacel 724 paper label tape has something called “repositionable” adhesive. It can be removed without leaving residue or tearing and then re-applied to the mixer when the act specific to that label takes the stage.