We report results from a conventional triaxial test performed on a specimen of Diemelstadt sandstone under an effective confining pressure of 110 MPa; a value sufficient to induce compaction bands. The maximum principal stress was applied normal to the visible bedding so that compaction bands propagated parallel to bedding. The spatio-temporal distribution of acoustic emission events greater than 40 dB in amplitude, and associated with the propagation of the first compaction band, were located in 3D, to within ±2 mm, using a Hyperion Giga-RAM recorder. Event magnitudes were used to calculate the seismic b-value at intervals during band growth. Results show that compaction bands nucleate at the specimen edge and propagate across the sample at approximately 0.08 mm s−1. The seismic b-value does not vary significantly during deformation, suggesting that compaction band growth is characterized by small scale cracking that does not change significantly in scale.