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How big is your practice space? How loud do you play?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Shild, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Shild


    Nov 15, 2012
    My bands space is about 20x20. We've been becoming progressively louder..... One of the guitarist has a 100 watt amp set to about 9, mines 100 watts and the other guitarist has a 120 watt head also set close to full. The drummer is very loud!... All in all we sound very muddy!.. So muddy it's difficult to know exactly where we are in the song. I'm neither the leader or founder of the band so it's difficult for me to tell them "Hey, we are becoming too muddy here!"... What should I do about this problem? How big is your practice space and how loud and muddy do you guys get?...
  2. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    My practice space is my Tascam Bass Trainer. No nuisance to anyone and the fidelity is great.
    Sounds like you were describing my rehearsal space where along with the other musicians things are a lot different.
  3. treekiller


    Mar 4, 2010
    My advice is to run, not walk away from this situation! Seriously, you say you can't hear because everything is "muddy" now, just wait until your hearing is damaged. 20'x20' is not that much space, you really need to be using hearing protection.

    I was in a band where there were 2 100w Marshall 1/2 stacks and the gui****/singer was always turning up to get his "tone", which forced the other guitar player and the rest of us to turn up to match. The result was a muddy mess where we couldn't hear each other and tinnitus, which is now my constant companion! Stand your ground and either make them turn down or walk, because it won't get any better!!! :cool:
  4. And he's the only one without a volume knob. This sounds like a no-win.

  5. What you a talking about is SOOOOOOOO common! I remember the first few bands I was in about 18 years ago. We would practice in a room in my parents basement with 2 guitars (along with 100 watt marshall heads and cabs), my bass (a 410 and 115 cab), a huge double kick drum set, 4 monitor mixes going, and a singer that beleived he had to perfect his stage moves along with learning the songs......LOUD!!!!! Over time some of these things change. Especially when people can afford to buy "practice" gear to have other than their "live rig".... now today in my practice space it is very tame. I have my 210 GK combo, 2 guitarist (each with a 1x12 combo), and drummer with a simplified kit, and a singer who actually wears headphones to sing during practice......My space is only a few feet bigger than yours. I would bring it up in a "nice way" your thoughts. Most bands will be receptive when you do this and be willing to talk about it.
  6. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    We are in a 2 to 3 car garage and I play headphones louder than we practice. We play through the PA, so the volume of the amps themselves are relatively low. Our drummer plays on the quiet side and has foam stuff in the bass drum. 2 guitars, bass, drums, vocals.

    3 Monitors up front guitar amps in the back, my bass amp on the side for now, but will move it to the back and work with the PA more.
  7. Our rehearsal space is smaller than that, and we can rehearse without hearing protection comfortably. That's with me using a 500w head thru an 8x10, guitarist using a 100w tube combo thru an extension cab, and keys thru a 100w tube combo. You gotta know how to work the knobs on your amp! Your drummer needs to have enough control to be able play effectively without being so loud. Its a hard thing to master, but once you do, your whole band will sound better.
  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    With the one group where we have a rehearsal space, our room is probably about 10' x 20'. Maybe 10' x 15'. So, small. And extremely loud. Can't really control the drummer too much, but the guitars are both through 4x12 cabs. The singer/rhythm guitar plays a 100 watt marshall but he's usually pretty good about his volume. The guitarist uses a 30 or 50 watt marshall, but it's cranked into the "sweet spot" so he's usually the one who sets the volume. We wear ear plugs. My other groups practice wherever we can rent space for a night or in someone's basement so those tend to be a bit more restrained. Either way I almost always use my ear plugs just out of habit.

    Anyways, sometimes it comes down to having an adult conversation. Someone may get a little butthurt at first, but it's for the best if it helps you sound better in rehearsals and interact better as a group.
  9. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    Both of my bands rehearse in my 900 square-foot basement. The drummer uses my electronic kit, the guitarist runs through my Roland Cube 60, and I use a 300-watt amp with a 12" speaker. I think we could get away with not using my PA for vocals, but they think we should be playing close to stage volume, so it gets turned on. I let them do what they want and wear my earplugs. We must not be too loud, because I have neighbors 20 feet away on two sides and both have said they seldom hear us.
  10. Captain Sunshin

    Captain Sunshin

    Aug 30, 2012
    When I first joined my current band they rehearsed at ear splitting decibels. The drummer is great, an actual musician as opposed to a guy who just whacks the skins in time, but uses logs for sticks. To compete, the other guys would crank up their amps. No one was using ear protection.
    As soon as I joined I refused to rehearse at those levels; I maintained that they couldn't actually hear the music from the noise. They were reluctant at first, but after a trial rehearsal where I set the levels on the amps and PA, everyone was commenting on their improved ability to actually hear what was going on. Since then we always rehearse at sensible levels (well, we're still fairly loud due to the drummer, but well within reasonable levels), and I've bullied everyone into using ear protection. They'll thank me later.
    In this case I think my band just didn't know any better, and were fortunately quite reasonable about the matter. If I were in the situation where the band wouldn't use their common sense and refuse to moderate their volume, I'd consider it a lost cause and jump ship. It's not worth the risk to your hearing, and that kind of refusal to compromise foreshadows other problems.
    In your situation I'd just let them know how you feel ASAP. Tell them it sounds bad because it's too loud. If they won't budge, do you really want to be in a band that refuses to sound good?
  11. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    Our space is smaller than yours, i think its about 12 x 8, we have 4 players, the Drums are LOUD! and i have 600 watt 4 x 10, so its a recipe for deafness, why arnt we deaf? Because we use in ear monitors. Drums, Guitar are Mic'd, Bass, Key, samplers DI'd, all into a 4 bus mixer so each player has thier own control over the mix going to thier head phones. At the end of the night your head doesnt pound and you can hear everything very clearly.

    Invest into saving your hearing!
  12. Not very big... Pretty damn loud. Hard hitting drummer, two 50W half stacks, and my SVT/810. We share a 20'x20' space with another band.
  13. I think that in order to *do* something about a perceived problem, everyone in your group has to either be on the same page or reasonably be able to be brought to the same page.

    My main band practices in a space that's probably 11x9' (4 people). We use in ear monitors, and the monitor rig fits in a small alcove on one side of the room. Parts of the wall are lined with guitar hooks. The drummer plays an acoustic kit, but is partially surrounded by 4' tall dividers. I guess they were originally office-type cubicle wall pieces, but they work well for this purpose. The wall and (low) ceiling behind him are covered with acoustic foam tiles. The set is partially mic'd, so it has detail (kick, hi-hat and snare) in the mix. Like RedMoses, we have a monitor mixer that allow individual mixes for each person's ears.

    The guitarist's "rig" is a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx. Mine is a Zoom B3, and the singer's guitar is in a Line6 unit that's in the rack.

    How loud? Only as loud as is necessary for me to get a good blend with the bleed-through from the drums. I'm using foam tips, so I get a good seal. Not perfect but very good.
  14. We use the keyboard player daylight basement - so we're in a space about 20 x 13.
    it's a little tight but we all seem to have enough room - even the drummer
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Our room is about 30 x 30. We keep volume at a level where we can hear each other without our ears ringing afterward. We can actually have a conversation while we are playing.

    My former band was extremely loud. One of the guitar players suffered permanent hearing damage and can't play anymore.
  16. tim_vaughan


    Jan 18, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Our space is small. But better yet, we are completely DI. Even the drummer. He plays "ZEN" drums which are electronic which run through his set of processors out the main board. It's great as our practice sessions are a complete mix through the board and we set the overall volume, which is generally speaking volume. When we do shows, we give the sound guy 7 XLR cables and all that is needed is just a quick adjustment and we've got the same sound no matter where we play or how loud the volume. Not to mention, there's a lot of room without the full drum kit...

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