What is that tape that I see people use on audio gear to label things (knobs, sliders, jacks and such)? Generally they use a permanent marker on the tape itself, but not the gear. Presumably the tape can be removed without too much trouble when the label needs to change. It seems to be semi-permanent, but not permanent.

An example of its use would be labeling the channels on a hardware mixer to indicate what the channel's source is.

Is this some special kind of tape used for equipment? If so, what makes it special?

  • 2
    I've never used tape for that, but we did use magnets and a label maker. You can buy sheets of magnets about 1/8" thick and cut them into rectangles small enough to use for a channel label. Then just stick the labels to that. It's temporary and allows you to move things about pretty easily. Apr 18, 2011 at 2:36

5 Answers 5


You can use many different types of tape (gaffer tape, masking tape) , but mostly I've seen people use electrical tape for this purpose. Most probably because audio engineers are often electrical engineers and always have it lying around. It also comes in many colours which makes it handy for visually grouping tracks together.

  • Electrical tape leaves little residue on mixers, is easy to remove and replace (as opposed to gaffer), and is always cheap. Masking tape can be used as well, but breaks easier than electrical tape.
    – Owen Kelly
    May 17, 2011 at 14:53

Grey gaffer tape seems to be the most common in the venues I have played. It is handy for just about everything.


For non-road applications, I use Post-it Correction & Cover-Up. It's basically strong postit material on a roll, and it comes in varying widths...perfect for mixer strips. They are easy to remove and reuse when you need to suspend one session for another. It also leaves absolutely no residue.


Painters' tape works well; it's inexpensive and is designed to be easily removed, but I wouldn't leave it on for more than a day or so. Good for live audio where you're changing things many times in a day.

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    It dries out and the glue then sticks on. Yeah, it takes a year or so, but still. :) I've used it, wouldn't recommend it. Apr 19, 2011 at 20:17
  • Only if you leave it on long-term. I'd missed the semi-permanent aspect of this; will update my answer. Apr 20, 2011 at 19:32

I'm all about ShureTape's Paper Tape for marking consoles and gear. Takes a Sharpie really well and comes off cleanly and with no problem.

You can get it here

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