Yes! We are OPEN.

317 Jefferson St. Fort Collins

So happy we’re glowing.

All in all, it was a good weekend for celebrations. Two and a half years after two of our best-loved local bands had all their gear stolen from their deplorable turkey-coop-turned-practice-space, Cohere Bandwidth opened its doors. For real! On Friday, we took some time to celebrate and had our friends, family and amazingly patient community supporters come take a look. It looked like this:

allthefeels

When the first band struck up a tune, Angel burst into tears. Dani burst into cheers. Adrian thinks we’re weird. He’s not wrong.

In addition to all the emoting, we got a chance to spend time with our families (both immediate and extended). Angel’s Mom made Tang and Chex Mix, in keeping with our neighborly Mister Rogers’ gestalt. Julie’s sister Jeanie tapped the Pateros Creek Brewing keg. Shane and Adrian celebrated like drummers do, by frantically hauling in a bunch of gear and setting it up, then gazing upon it adoringly.

kitkisses

This is the teaching kit that lives in our Side B rehearsal room. Shane can’t wait to bring his students in.

Several of the downtown Fort Collins neighborhood vendors who offer discounts to Cohere Bandwidth members stopped in to wish us well. Brandon from Music Go Round was on hand with guitars galore for the bands to try out; the store is also providing something we call the “Oh Sh*t” box — filled with items musicians might find they need should things at practice not go as planned. Also, two of our kick-ass photographer friends, Kirsten Cohen and Craig Okraska came all the way from Boulder and Laramie, respectively, to show their support and then have their photo taken inexpertly by us:

photogs

Craig and Kirsten take much better pictures than this one, and are incredibly generous, supportive artists. We’re pretty smitten.

And in an adorable demonstration of cross-pollination, Cohere Community members pitched in to help with the opening party, too. Amanda lent us the perfect Tang pitcher, Janelle helped us get set up for the event, Kevin came by to see the real-life use case behind all the website programming he’s done for us, and Suzi made stoplight-themed Rice Krispies treats (that hopefully someone took a picture of before we scarfed them all down).

In the midst of all this, our neighbors at the Downtown Artery opened their new cafe and venue right next door to us. It is spectacular. You should go see it. Opening night was beyond our ability to describe adequately; just go subscribe to their YouTube channel so you don’t miss out (Stella Luce and Itchy-O pretty much burned the place down. Metaphorically, of course).

The Very Best Part

The bands! They’re the very best part! Several of our musician friends came by on Friday, including Matt Mahern, YettieChieftan, The Lonelyhearts, and an unprecedented number of drummers, from Mama Lenny & The Remedy to (multiple) Wiredogs. We also got a chance to meet our very first member band, Landlocked, in person. Here’s Angel presenting them with their membership cards, moments before they started playing and she started crying:

landlocked

Wishing Landlocked a warm welcome.

On Saturday, Itchy-O got a chance to check out our Side A “green room”, mostly because a 31-piece marching band needs a place to stash their burkas, antennae and lighted sombreros. Duh. Stella Luce and Super Bummer stopped in, too. And then on Sunday, our very first hourly band came in to practice. They are an emerging band currently without a name, so we’ll let them reveal themselves to you when they’re ready. But here’s a picture of their feet in the simulated lawn in Side A. Yes, it so clean you can roam around barefoot if you want.

greenroom

Gathering their creative forces.

Later, the band was spotted in Old Town getting a post-practice beer … another thing to love in our neighborhood. Life on Linden and Jefferson is pretty awesome right now and we expect it will only get better and better.

We. Are. Open. Best three words I’ve been able to type in this last 900+ days. Please take a peek around the website and schedule some practice time! Feel free to hit us up if you want a code for a free hour to give things a try before you buy, or if you would like to schedule a tour of the space. We would love to see you, local bands, friends and neighbors. We made this with you, for you, and we’re ready for you to come play!

“Often, when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers

Field Report: Road Trip to ToneVille

Those of you that follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook got a little sneak peek at the way we spent last Friday … going on an adventure to fetch a secret gift that will soon be part of our shared rehearsal space experience!

shhhhh

Update — in shocking news, we have procured not just ONE gift, but TWO for you, our beloved Fort Collins music community. Gift #1: we decided the Cohere Bandwidth team needed some more enthusiastic young musical expertise, so we got you a tall and sprightly drummer!

shanehatched

But not that tall and sprightly drummer. Another one:

shaneadrian

More Awesome Energy!
We are very excited to announce the addition of Adrian Wright to the Cohere Bandwidth team. Adrian is a tall and sprightly drummer who plays in a band called Yettie, and he is poised to step in with his bonafide brilliant musician mind should someone suddenly kidnap Shane and stuff him into the hatch of an SUV, never to be seen again. You can never have too many drummers, in our opinion. Someone’s always needing a spare. Please join us in welcoming Adrian aboard. And you should check out his band. You’ll likely see more and more of him as we move in and prepare for opening.

Speaking of preparing for opening …

More Excellent Equipment!
Gift #2 was purchased with a credit card, and required a bit of a road trip, so we shoved all our drummers in a car and drove off to Colorado Springs to get … an amplifier. It occurred to us at about the Longmont exit that maybe we should have grabbed a guitar player, too.

Julie: “do you think maybe we should have brought someone that could test this thing out?”
Angel: “Shane, can you play (surprises everyone by humming Black Sabbath’s Iron Man)?”

Then we remembered we were picking up said amp at a music store. Lucci Music, to be exact, where someone would surely know how to play some Black Sabbath if needed. Oh, and also Lucci Music is home to ToneVille Amplifiers. Ta-da!

toneville-in-case

We mean … ta-da!tonevillerevealed

Lovingly handcrafted right here in Colorado, ToneVille amps are this beautiful blend of art and science that practically made Angel weep with joy:

angelovestoneville

We purchased the Broadway model, which has insides made from “new old stock” tubes (a phrase, for the uninitiated, that sounds ridiculous but actually has meaning for those in the know; it refers to tubes that were manufactured in the past, but just never used. Good for built-to-last, authentic vintage sound, apparently). The Broadway’s outsides are made from black walnut and hard maple, with gorgeous dovetailed joints and a retro flair that is such a perfect fit with our branding that we nearly had to bring Julie some smelling salts.

Best of all, though, our ToneVille amp was made by Phil. We got to meet Phil and shake his hand, and talk to him about his business, and that doesn’t happen that often when you buy things these days. It was like a music farmer’s market. It was awesome.

phil

This is Phil. We did not make him play Black Sabbath.

Phil wrote down every individual tube included in our ToneVille for our reference. And he gave us ToneVille T-shirts. And he sat cross-legged on the floor and painstakingly took us through the features of the Broadway. If you want something akin to that experience, you can check out lots of demo videos on the Internet, like this one from Guitar World at the NAMM show earlier in January:

But what we would like most of all is for you to come experience your new gifts in person when we open, of course. When do we open? Well, we’re getting closer to exact dates, but for starters — we’ll be acting as the artist and sponsor check-in venue for FoCoMX April 24 – 25. So if yours is among the 266 bands playing at our favorite Fort Collins music festival, then we’ll see you very soon. We’ll open for rehearsal room bookings shortly thereafter and you can come try out all the amenities in our home in the Downtown Artery building, including the ToneVille amp. And the Colorado-made Mantic Effects pedals. And you can high-five our getting-increasingly-taller team.

teambandwidth

In the meantime, don’t forget to get your band on our wait list to stay up-to-speed on our official opening date. It’s all happening, faster than you think. We can hardly wait!

Field Report: Rehearse in Space

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Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?! Shane has been bugging me for MONTHS to visit Space in Austin, Texas. It was hard to say yes given our lack of wheels down here and the distance to get there (a 30 min drive from downtown READ $50 Uber ride each way).

As luck would have it, I arrived in Austin and met a brand new coworking space owner, Shelley, who was willing to give us a ride! Her coworking space is called Orange Coworking and is located in the “Far South Awesome” neighborhood.

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We landed in Space and begged for a spur of the moment tour. They acquiesced despite being wicked busy due to SXSW. Brent showed us around all the Space, which includes THIRTY-ONE rehearsal rooms spread over two floors and a tracking room/recording studio.

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Most of the rehearsal rooms are hourly/shared just like Cohere Bandwidth’s will be be but they offer just the PA, mixer, mic stands and the occasional drum kit. Bands can either bring their own amps/rigs OR rent some from Space. A small number of rooms are reserved full time for a few specific bands.

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I made Shane wail on a drum kit while I stood in the hallway with not 1 but 2 solid doors separating us. I’ve never been more thankful for the sound-lock vestibules our contractors are currently building.

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Summary: we are even MORE excited to bring this awesome concept to Old Town Fort Collins. Join us for our first open house day on April 24th! **we’re waiting on our new address but find us on the Jefferson side of Linden and Jefferson underneath the Downtown Artery.

Ps. Get on our wait list for rehearsal slots

Pps. Rock a Bandwidth hoodie

Cohere Bandwidth: Kicking It Into Gear

If you’re wondering what all that racket is, well: we’re movin’ and shakin’ over at Cohere Bandwidth. Not so very long ago in the saga of shared rehearsal space, we were getting giddy about structure and infrastructure, and waxing poetic about Magic Mick, of acoustic architecture fame. (Update — digging up the dough to hire Mick has been the smartest money we’ve spent thus far, by far. As in, spend a little, and save a LOT in the long run, that kind of smart.) Since we’re feeling pretty solid about our sound decisions, it’s time to spend some more money, this time to outfit the practice spaces with gear. But what to buy first?

The heart of the band seemed like a good place to start, and to bypass any potential arrhythmia in the process, Angel decided to immediately purchase one of the more critical components of our backline equipment: the drums. To neatly evade any repercussions we might experience from making ill-informed choices, she also immediately enlisted some expertise. She hired this guy:

Shane

Actual drummer! Not to scale.

You might remember Shane from such escapades as “the time we shut him in a portable room to play drums in sub-zero temperatures” or “the time we made him practice in the living room while we listened outside from the curb”. In addition to being a cheerful test subject and one of our favorite actual drummers, Shane also happens to work next door at the drum store and not only knows what he’s talking about, he knows where to get it. Angel went shopping and immediately came home with this sweet kit:

fraggle rock

j/k… she wishes. #notforsale

Making Things Click
As you might recall, one of the primary reasons we started this whole shared rehearsal space project was due to a strong belief that, just like any other businessperson, a musician needs a nice, normal, properly equipped place to work. Angel already knows a thing or two about outfitting a shared workspace, and one of her other strong beliefs is that she, as the owner and community manager, needs to know what’s up with the office equipment. If the going gets tough in Internet land at Cohere, when the com has been cast and the router is pouting, Angel’s the one that endures the tech call required to diagnose the problem. She is the great plugger and unplugger, the one who talks to surly onsite service repairmen, the Restorer of All That Is Right With the World.

Tech Support

Actual tech support call! Exasperation not to scale.

So why, she thought, should owning a shared rehearsal space be any different? Without further ado, Angel purchased a non-Fraggle drum kit from Shane … along with a series of drum lessons.

User instruction manual.

Adult Education
Armed with a  fierce determination and a high school marching band background (legacy: the possibility of playing “ironic jazz flute” at Musak-enhanced business networking mixers), Angel is practicing. Practicing assembling the kit, and learning the proper grip and foot positioning (it matters). Practicing patience and persistence in pursuit of improved on-the-job performance. And, practicing, because according to Shane, she might get to learn how to play Billie Jean pretty soon.

Angel Lessons

Keeping her fingers on the pulse of practice space.

Shane reports that Angel is a good student; Angel’s report: “Shane is fun, drumming is hard, and OMG there’s so much to haul!”  Her next move is to buy a throne, as is befitting the new queen of all she surveys. Well, it’s mostly so she can stop sitting on a child’s chair with a pillow in her basement practice space. After that: probably headphones and earplugs and cymbals. But eventually? She looks forward to practicing in a proper rehearsal space. Good thing we have a couple of those on the way.

P.S. wanna take drum lessons from Shane? Email him — he’s accepting new students of all ages.

P.P.S. we’re bringing back the local music track sample in our posts. Hey, here’s one:
Chain of Command by Wire Faces

Proof: But No Roof.

Our latest shared rehearsal space adventure found us thinking outside the box, by thinking inside the box. Having found that our most viable commercial space options almost always include neighbors, and neighbors mean sound issues, Angel had an idea: what if we decoupled the space from the space? (Whoa. Did you feel that? Don’t be alarmed, it’s just our paradigm shifting.)

Plasma Ball, 2 Hands in the Dark

Now I know what you’re thinking (wait … wut?) — but hang tight for a minute while I ‘splain: turns out there are companies that construct portable soundproof rooms. And purchasing a room might mean we could put the space within a space, but without making a substantial permanent investment in a building we are merely leasing. Landlord decides they want us to clear out? No problem! We just take the room with us and put it back together somewhere else.

We got super excited about this idea for about 15 minutes, until Angel did some research and discovered that one of these rooms cost $26,000. Then we were crushed. But THEN: she found a company that makes them for a fraction of that cost — and it turned out that company was right here in Colorado! Less than an hour away. And they had one under construction, in house, that we could test. Right “now”.

As is the way with this quest, a series of misadventures followed — it’s not easy to coordinate the schedules of anyone these days, not to mention finding people with drum kits and bass amps and the ability to use them, who can then take a field trip during the work week to indulge our whims. But as is also the way with this quest, the musicians in our community were once again amiable and accommodating. Maybe somewhat disbelieving, but at least willing to give it a shot. When we put up the bat signal around here, the bands always answer the call.

BAT SIGNAL

  • Scheduled Field Trip #1 resulted in a no-show by the guy who owns the company, and Angel sitting on a curb with a bass player and a drummer (we found out later the guy was in the hospital, and I had to rescind all my swears).
  • Scheduled Field Trip #2 resulted in a snow storm, some van shenanigans and ultimately, a reschedule.
  • Field Trip #3 was “the charm” – though a last-minute schedule switch by the company owner meant the bass player was out, and we would have to do our best to test with a drummer only. A drummer who was willing to load up a carload of gear, take the morning off work and drive down to be shoved into a freezing cold warehouse into an 8×8 room << the available test size.

Let’s skip to the results part of the experiment and let you see (and hear) for yourselves, shall we? Does this seem —> Soundproof?

Well … not so much. “Sound resistant”? Maybe. The whole test took about five minutes once our intrepid drummer got set up in the unheated warehouse. We used a little decibel reader app on his phone to test the sound reduction (about 10 decibels). Angel used an app called her eyes to make note of visible gaps in the construction. I used my mittened hands to clutch my coffee cup, while lamenting inwardly about the bands that are probably practicing in similar conditions every day. Still.

Bottom line? At a price of thousands of dollars and a noise level that is decidedly … audible, we think we’ll pass on the “soundproof” room idea. For what it’s worth, the rooms are generally used for studio voice-over recording and that sort of thing, and maybe aren’t a great solution for entire bands anyway. In the end though, we were left with cold hands AND cold feet, standing back at the drawing board. Eliminating options is a good thing, but it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed when your hopes get dashed. We’re trying to be scientists about this, but I bet even scientists get discouraged. But: the best ones keep thinking and acting. Boxes be damned.

You can put Dr. Who in the TARDIS, but you can't make it soundproof. It's a metaphor, go with it.

You can put Dr. Who in the TARDIS, but you can’t make it soundproof. It’s a metaphor, go with it.

 

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