Close Up: Downtown Rehearsal

FullSizeRenderPremier Downtown Lockout Facility For 25 Years: In 1989, aspiring musician, manager and Musicians Institute grad Greg Koch—fed up with the poor state of the existing facilities in Los Angeles—opened 24-hour lockout rehearsal studios on Santa Fe Avenue in Downtown that featured operating windows and downtown views. Downtown Rehearsal started on two floors of a building (approximately 20,000 feet) before Koch added a third floor in 1991 to expand to 62 studios. Many renowned bands from the vibrant ‘90s local rock scene, including Blind Melon, Fishbone, Fear Factory, Static-X, Spineshank, Electric Love Hogs, the Melvins, Goatsnake, Macy Gray, Goldfinger and Face to Face have used Downtown Rehearsal’s studio space. The rooms range in size from 17 ft. x 21 ft. to 20 ft. x40 ft.; General Manager Mike Daugherty says that “the average four-piece band can be comfortable in an 18 ft. x18 ft. space.”


Expansion and Growing Popularity: In 1999, Downtown Rehearsal opened a second location on 7th Street near the L.A. River. By 2001, it had 212 rooms—and a few years ago, the facility took over another part of its building to add eight larger size rooms, for a total of 220. This second location features drum rooms as small as 6 ft. x 12 ft. to large rehearsal studios up to 25 ft. x 25 ft. and 20 ft. x 40 ft. Though most of its business has traditionally been lockout rehearsal, Downtown Rehearsal also has several studios that are set up for recording, with a window to separate tracking from recording.

The Lockout ‘Lockout’: The word of mouth success of Downtown Rehearsal ensures that the facility is always full and maintains a waiting list for new bands interested in locking out. Practical amenities include gated parking, freight elevators to move equipment and CCTV security. All rooms come with carpeted floor, two carpeted walls, ceiling fan, sound baffles, phone jack and operating windows or forced air ventilation for interior studios. Daugherty says, “Most people say what sets us apart is studios with a view, fresh air and high ceilings. We can rent PA’s on demand, but we have found that most bands prefer to use their own equipment.”

Contact Downtown Rehearsal,
Mike: Santa Fe Ave. Location;
Chris: 7th St. Location

By Jonathan Widran