3 Inch Core-A “Lucky” Accident?

shurtape p724 from thetapeworks.com

For as long as anybody can remember, the inner cardboard hub of a roll of console labeling tape has been 3 inches.

It is unlikely that the diameter of the hub had anything to do with being just the right size to fit around most peoples’ wrist, but it is the perfect size for that.

When you are doing lots of labeling, there is no more convenient way to get a small piece of tape than to be able to use your non-writing hand as a sort of tape dispenser.

Just slip your hand through the hub and you can hold one, or even several rolls of tape right where you need them without losing the ability to use both hands.

Not coincidentally (my guess) the hub size of gaffers tape, which is also three inches, was probably also a “lucky accident”.

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Chapel Hill, NC 27517

“Scribble Strip”? We’re Not Sure About That One

scribbleSlang 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.

Board Tape-Not Boring Tape

Yellow console tape from TheTapeworks.comBored 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.

Console Tape Not Sticking-Wrap It Around The Edges

midas mixer from consoletape.com

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.

Console Too Hot? Your Label Tape Will Let You Know

ThermometerThe 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.

Console Tape Not Sticking? Maybe It’s You, Not The Tape

hand wipeThe 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.

Why “Elongation” Matters In A Console Tape

ruler for measuring console tapeWe’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.

Is Mixing Sound An Art? It Is If You Use This Tape

shurtape p724 from thetapeworks.comThe 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.

Dry Erase Board Labels? Not Unless You Want To “Wear” Your Mix Home!

DRY ERASE MARKERI 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.