Pros: Reasonable Cost
Cons: Doesn’t Tear Easily, Sticky Residue
One of the hallmarks of professionalism is paying attention to details; it sometimes makes a big difference in results. Being in business is perhaps the best platform to understand the impact professionalism has in that it can cost you glossing over details. If you think about it, details are important and have to be dealt with in almost every phase of our lives.
A number of years ago, a friend of mine was named in a lawsuit along with the members of his band and the club they had performed at. It seems that a patron had tripped over speaker cable that led to a front of house PA speaker and hurt themselves falling into a table while sustaining a nasty injury. The case was settled out of court, but it ended up costing the defendants damages and court/legal fees. To think that it all could have been avoided if the band had secured all cabling down with gaffers tape or if the club owner protected his interests by clearing bandstand before the performance; $20.00 saved, thousands lost.
Gaffers tape assures your gear won’t cause unnecessary incidents from occurring in an environment where inebriated patrons often fall into the band, often while trying to stand as they request “Freebird” or “that Stevie Ray Vaughan song”. I have made a point to always use gaffers tape and have tried many. There is a difference between good and bad tape. Good tape sticks to the floor while leaving no residue on it or your gear. I repeatedly hear about confrontations between band and venue over sticky residue where a band used either bad gaffers tape or worse yet, duct tape, to secure cable. Good tape is also 3-4 inches thick so that you can cover multiple cables on stage so your stage doesn’t look like Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat. While there are many on the market there are some that I like to stay away from.
Hosa, a popular manufacturer of great live sound accessories misses the mark with their Hosa 2” Gaffers Tape on all counts. Count 1: Sticky residue isn’t an issue unless you are playing outdoors on a sunny hot day and then you may likely see residue on decking or a floor. Generally speaking you won’t on a gig under normal circumstances. You will, however, see residue if you leave the tape applied for an extended period of time in, as in your studio. Count 2: 2” gaffers tape isn’t wide enough for general band use as cable, especially speaker cable, is fairly thick requiring a greater adhering surface to effectively secure your cable.
Onstage the Hosa 2” Gaffers Tape is hard to tear, often fraying, which is unacceptable and time consuming. Aside from the fact that there are plenty of other alternatives, why would I deal with this ever? The devil is in the details and unfortunately its details like these that make it easier to walk away from Hosa 2” Gaffers Tape.