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Whether it's for sound effects recording or production sound mixing.

  • who knew this would be such a cool topic? – Rene Sep 20 '12 at 14:21
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  • Paper spike tape. Not that sticky, good for sensitive surfaces.
  • Gaffer's tape. Stickier, the standard, gentle on most surfaces.
  • 3M Micropore tape. Excellent for lav placement.
  • Double-sided wig/toupee tape, for similar.
  • Self-adhesive Dr. Scholls moleskine, for buffering the edges of a lav from cloth rubbing when concealed.
  • Electrical tape, for its actual purpose (repairs). For heavy duty repairs I've moved on to Gorilla tape instead of duct tape...but be careful. That s#!$ does not come off.

Sometimes I also use silicone tape, aka 100mph tape, if I need something waterproofed like XLR connections, especially whilst hydrophoning.

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Here are the tapes I most often use on set:

  1. Medical Transpore tape (same as micropore above)_works well for placing lavs on actors skin and clothes.
  2. Medical Cloth tape (white)_When transpore doesn't work and for concealing wires on or beneath white clothing.
  3. Waterproof medical tape (skin tone)_used occasionally for moist situations and for concealing wires on see-through clothing.
  4. Black Gaff tape (2 inch)_For various mounting purposes (try not to use on freshly painted sets; it will cause damage).
  5. Black Paper tape (2 inch)_Used sparingly when Gaff tape is too rough or when I need to temporarily mount things onto camera that won't need velcro.
  6. Blue painting tape (2 inch)_For placing carpets on floors and for mounting small objects on sensitive surfaces; just make sure it's not in the shot (light blue tape will shine on screen)

I've used the silicone 100mph tape while working with a sound mixer from Holland (Antoin Cox; one of the best I've worked with) and it was amazing for quick fixes on damaged XLR cable. I haven't yet looked into buying some of my own. I haven't needed it, but I would love to have a few rolls just in case.

Happy tape hunting,

E. Santiago

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Joes sticky stuff is great.

I have taken a liking to a tape used in the sports medicine field known as kinesiotape, I use that as a substitute for moleskin. Also an item which is not tape but kind of goes hand in hand with concealing lavs is antistatic spray.

+1 to what everyone else has said, they are all in my kit plus my above mentioned.

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I forgot to mention, but I also have Dr. Scholl's moleskin for occasional uses as mentioned by NoiseJockey, but I don't use it often (maybe I should; he makes a great point with concealing lavs, particularly when placing a Sanken COS-11 in a tie). Another great tape mentioned is the double sided wig tape named "Top Stick". I don't use it much, but it's always hanging around for situations where I need to conceal a wire within fabric while keeping the fabric from moving around. Sometimes you have to tape part of the actors wardrobe together within areas that will be on screen; Top Stick does a great job being virtually invisible to camera when placed underneath areas around or on a lavaliere mic placement.

Have fun making sound for movies,

E. Santiago

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Ice Hockey tape is also an option. Cloth, sticky but leaves very little residue.

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Quickly unrolling parcel tape is good for making electrical arcing/spark sounds.

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Top stick and gaff tape

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Duct Tape. Because it turns, "no, no, NOOO!" into , "mmm, mmmm, MMMMMM!"

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