Some mixing consoles (festival, club, etc.) get relabeled constantly. 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.
Sanford, the company that makes Sharpie Markers, says that Sharpie ink is “non-toxic”. That may be true, but there are things in the ink that are definitely not good for you.
Questions of black lips and tongue aside, Sharpies contain alcohols and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. That can’t be good for the skin.
The Sharpie Fine Tip marker is, by far the most popular version of this iconic marker, but there are multiple tip styles, all of which can play an important role in console labeling.
Ultra Fine Point-Get more info on your label with a very narrow tip
Extra Fine Point-Useful for detail, but hard to read in the dark
Brush Tip-Great for making labels for equipment cases-Easy to read at a distance
Chisel Tip-Makes large, broad strokes that last for a long time
Retractable Tip-Solves that “Where did I put that cap” problem
One of the reasons that Shurtape 724 is prized as a console labeling tape is because indelible markers like Sharpies don’t smear when they are used to make labels.
Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple.
While Sharpie Marker won’t smear if you let it dry, touching it too soon can create a real mess.
This tape is a “coated” product, which means that it has a top coat that is designed to provide a small level of waterproofing and stain rejection.
That means that the marker ink won’t dry instantly, like it will on a more absorbent surface.
Fortunately, ink will dry to an indelible label in just a few seconds. It is worth the wait.
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.
Multi-act shows mean that multiple sound people will be using the same mixer and will need to make set changes as quickly as possible.
Not having to completely re-label the mixer between acts can save lots of time and avoid confusion.
Use of standard abbreviations for inputs both lets the next sound person know what is where and also addresses the problem of limited space for labeling each input.
Here are some abbreviations known to all:
Vox Voices or vocals
Kik Bass Drum
Sn Snare Drum
Tom Rack Tom
Fl Floor Tom
OH Overhead Drum Mic
Personal monitor mixers, the ones that allow each performer to do their own monitor mix are popular, in part, because they are small.
Both in terms of how they appear on stage and their portability, the small size makes them a great solution for getting a personal mix just for you.
Because of their small format, they may not have enough space for a strip of regular label tape.
Shurtape 724 is now available in a half inch width, just right for a small format mixer.
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 724 is available in multiple colors, but for the most useful labeling, it is hard to beat black marker on white tape.
Being sure you are reaching for the right control in the dark is about making the label stand out.