I’ve been doing a lot of work for Chris at Daring Audio over the past year, and finally had the time to make a couple of demos of the Phat Beam dynamic processor. Simply put, this thing can make your bass sound super tight and gritty, or thick and fat, reminiscent of all of those old motown tracks we bass players adore.
A couple of months back when I was playing in the pit for “Hairspray,” I took the opportunity to put the Phat Beam through its paces a little. The rig I was using was fairly hi-fi; a Phil Jones Bass Suitcase amp with my Warwick Corvette Standard 5. By fiddling with the SHAPE and BLEND knobs, I was able to dial in a thick, meaty tone that more closely resembled the period in which the show takes place (yeah, you don’t actually have to do this when playing in a show, but I like to remain as true to the period as possible). Adding the limiter and compressor to taste, I had a great big bass sound that was felt as much as it was heard.
There are a lot of other applications under the hood of this little beast, as I’ve been finding out. One of the things I’ve been using it for lately is to shape and control the input of my Kala U-Bass Hutch Hutchinson. If you haven’t checked out these little dynamos, I would recommend it. They are a pretty cool option to getting a faux string bass sound (personally, I think they sound more like the Fenders of old, but others say it’s a string bass). The hollow-body versions have no onboard controls, so I am using the Phat Beam as a preamp again. Setting the SHAPE control is very easy; adjust everything off of that and you are good to go.
The Daring Audio Phat Beam is a pretty nifty pedal. If you can find one, I recommend you try it out and see what it can do for your tonal landscape.
Phat Beam using a Warwick Streamer LX Broadneck 6 String
Phat Beam using a Kala Hutch Hutchinson U-Bass