Bel BD80s User Manual
The BD80 must be one of the most popular delay/samplers ever
produced, it is found in all types of studios from the most
modest home set-up to the more prestigious 46 track facility.
The BD80 had two features that enable its use across the wide
range of recording studios; an excellent audio quality combined
with a modest price. The BD80 now has a successor which also
combines these two qualities, welcome to the BD80S "Stereo"
The BD80S enables stereo delay effects and "TRUE STEREO SAMPLING"
- over 6 seconds at 20HZ - 20KHZ band with ( 13 seconds in mono)
Audio Connections
Front Panel
Variable Sample Length
Fixed Sample Length
Separate Left and Right Channel Sampling
Mono Sampling
Looping Playback
Homing In
Edit Front and Rear
Fine Edit
Pitch Change
Fine Pitch Change
Single Trigger
Repeat Trigger
Manual Trigger
Audio Trigger
External Trigger
Midi Trigger
Quick Function List
Before powering up the BD80S connect it to your system. Connections are via
electronically balanced XLRs with two inputs and two outputs because the
machine is a true stereo unit. These connectors have been factory pre-set for
pin 3 hot operation but the unit can be configured to work for pin 2 hot
(see addendum p. 12).
For unbalanced operation you must connect pin 2 to pin 1
Switching the unit on with the power switch at the right hand side of the
front panel the display will initially show '-80-' for several seconds and
will then show '2'. This process is carried out every time you power and
allows time for the BD80S to clear any random data from the audio memory and
boot up its computer. The '2' stands for 2ms, the current rear edit position
and means the unit is ready for operation.
If you have ever used a delay unit before you will be acquainted with the
controls on the left half of the front panel. Those on the right will need
explaining because they perform functions in the delay and sampling modes.
If you are in a hurry to use the unit then you will probably have started
already so turn to the sections on Delay (p.4) and Sampling (p. 5) although
you would do well to read this section at sometime, in case you miss some-thing
So let's have a look at the front panel in some detail, starting from the
Level Indicator
This four LED bar (2 yellow, I green, I red) gives a visual indication of
the input into the unit.
Recessed inside this hole is a small pre-set that allows you to adjust
the trigger threshold when triggering a sample by an incoming signal to the
unit. More about this in the section on Triggering (p. 9) but for now be
careful not to damage the slot.
This pot adjusts the input into the unit. Use in conjunction with the level
indicator to get a level that keeps the green LED on most of the time and
occasionally peaks into the red. Keep an eye on the level indicator as
maintaining a correct level into the unit is one of the simplest ways of
ensuring that you receive the highest performance from the BS80S. Pay
particular attention to it when adding regeneration to the delay chain.
This pot controls the mix of the dry or unaffected signal and the effect,
full clockwise gives the delayed signal in isolation. Use the latter when
connecting to the effects return on a mixing desk. The pot is notched at
the centre where equal amounts of both signals are present.
This pot controls the amount of regeneration of the delayed signal i.e.
multiple echoes. When using this keep watch of the input level.
This pot controls the output level from the unit and allows you to match
it perfectly to your use.
This pot works in conjunction with the Depth pot (next) in the modulation
section which is switched in with the MOD button. Clockwise rotation
increases the speed of modulation. You will have noticed a yellow LED to
the right of this pot and this gives a visual indication of the speed.
Turn the knob and see for yourself.
This pot controls the depth of modulation. With it turned fully clockwise
you achieve the maximum depth of modulation. Put a signal through and listen.
The next thing we come to is a cluster of 6 buttons.
Pressing this bypasses the effect section (LED on).
reverse the procedure.
Press it again to
Pressing this (LED on) causes the phase of the delayed signal to be reversed.
allowing some interesting changes in tone. Press again to cancel the procedure.
This switches in the modulation section (LED on).
Pressing this (LED on) allows you to access the trigger circuitry via audio
or externally (see Triggering p.9 ).
pressing this (LED on) reverses the phase of the feedback and allows for
some interesting tonal changes.
This causes the unit to operate in mono operation in delay or sampler mode
on the right channel only and gives you 13.106s to play with (LED on).
Next we get to the 5 digit LED display. This gives read outs for the delay
time as well as giving prompts during various processes. In the bottom right
hand corner of the display is a full stop which gives a visual indication when
sampling and looping.
To the right of the display you'll find a large white manual trigger button.
This is the front panel way to trigger.
The cluster of eight buttons to the right of this are involved with a number
of functions, some of which are exclusive to sampling.
↑and ↓increment buttons
These increment the delay time or available sampling time and are also used
during editing and pitch shifting. They increment in lms steps (except in
fine edit, see Editing) when pressed in single nudges. However, holding down
one of these buttons will cause the time to increase slowly at first for about
2 seconds (real time) and will then accelerate to rear time entry i.e. one
second of delay entry per one second of real time. Practice this, it may take
some getting used to but you will find that it becomes a very convenient way
to work.
Pressing this (LED on) allows the editing of the sample's front via the T
and ~ buttons.
When activated this button allows a sample to be pitch changed, its LED
will light.
This allows a sample to be stored in memory for editing or playback (LED on).
This is a non-latching type button for instigating various shift functions.
While it is pressed its LED illuminates.
This button when depressed (LED on) is used in recording and playback of
This button executes a number of functions depending on the mode of
operation but is involved with sample record and playback. Its LED lights.
The BD80S is capable of achieving all the popular delay effects with a
maximum stereo delay/time of 6.553s. The delay time is set using the up/down
increment buttons and the number of repeats is varied using the feedback
control. When using extreme feedback settings be especially careful about the
input level. Reverse the phase of the feedback by pressing the FB0 button and
listen to the difference.
As very rough guide lines, double tracking effects can be obtained with
settings up to about 6Oms but use your own ears. Modulation effects can be
created by switching in the modulation section (press MOD button) and selecting
a delay time between 2 and 20ms. By altering the modulation speed and depth
controls together with the feedback control you will be able to achieve some
very rich chorus and flange effects. By switching in feedback phase reverse
(FB0) and delay reverse (DEL0) you will be able to explore other tonal
possibilities. The secret is to use your own ears. BEL are offering you great
flexibility so make the most of it. After using this method of delay control
you will find other 'digital access' methods cumbersome. Use the mix control
to mix the dry signal with the effect signal. Press the BYP button to kill the
effect. You can summon up a delay time of 13.106s by pressing the MONO button
but the output will only be from the right channel.
The BD80S allows you to sample up to 6.553s of stereo material or 13.106s
of mono material output through the right hand output. It also lets you
store any number of samples in memory provided that their total time does
not exceed that of the available memory. The unit can also sample into the
right and left channels separately. Samples can also be treated with the
modulation section.
There are two methods of sampling:
variable length and fixed length.
When listening to the material to be sampled either have the mix control set
to the dry setting or better still have the mix control set to delay but press
BYP (bypass). This allows you to hear the incoming signal while sampling and
cancelling the bypass after finishing lets you hear the sample in the delay
portion of the mix. The feedback control should be turned fully anti-clockwise
as otherwise the memory contents will be feedback into the sampling process,
creating an overdubbing effect, which can be useful in certain instances.
Variable sample length.
Press the * button, its LED will come on as will that for SYNC, 'the display
will read 'reed' meaning that it is ready to record. When you reach the bit
that you want to sample press the manual trigger button and hold it down for
the duration of the bit you want, the display shows real time, release when
finished, the * LED goes out. You have now made your first sample on the
BD80S and lock into memory by pressing the HOLD button (LED on). To hear
your sample press the manual trigger button. To edit refer to the section
on editing (p.6).
Fixed length sampling
This method of sampling allows you to select a section of memory, say
2 s, and fill it with a sample. Sampling can be activated by manual trigger
or audio (see Triggering (p. 9)). Choose a length of memory using the up/
down increment buttons and the display. Press SYNC (LED on) when you get to
the bit you want to sample, press the manual trigger button and exactly the
length of memory specified by you will be filled. Note that the full stop at
the bottom right of the display goes out during sampling. Lock the sample into
memory by pressing HOLD (LED on). To hear the sample press the manual trigger
button. To edit see Editing (p.6).
Separate left and right channel sampling
Press SHFT and MONO, the display shows 'Stereo'. Use the up/down buttons
to scroll through right channel, left channel and stereo. Once selected you
can record into the chosen channel in the ways outlined above. This facility
allows you to sample different things into the left and right channels and
play them back simultaneously. When editing, both channels are edited by the
same amount.
Mono Sampling
Pressing MONO (LED on) gives you 13.106s to play with on the right channel.
Sample as before. Changing from a program recorded in stereo to mono will cause
a decrease in pitch of one octave. Changing from a program in mono to stereo will
cause an increase in pitch of one octave.
Looping Playback
You can get the sample to loop by pressing SYNC (LED off). You will hear
continuous looping which can be stopped by pressing SYNC again (LED on).
The BD80S permits you to edit the front and rear of a sample, with a fine
edit facility (33 µs per nudge) available on the front edit.
If you have a sample which contains sounds towards the end that you do not
want you can 'home in' on the area of interest, then edit the front and
rear, and then fine edit the front of the recording.
Homing In
After making a recording and pressing the HOLD button (LED on) and with the
SYNC LED on, press *(LED on). The display will read 'PLAY' then press the
manual trigger button and listen to the sample playing back and release the
button after you have heard the place you want. The display will have
incremented in real time and will now be showing the new end point for the
sample. On releasing the manual trigger button the *LED will have gone out
and pressing the manual trigger button again allows you to hear how you have
truncated the sample. Try it.
Edit Front and Rear
You are now free to make more accurate adjustments to the displayed rear
end point by using the up/down buttons and listening to what you are doing
by pressing the manual trigger button. Once you are happy with the end point
you can start on the front of the sample by pressing the ED-F button (LED on)
and the display will show 0, which is the original front point of the sample.
Increment this value as need be and listen to what you are doing by pressing
the manual trigger button. (When you are happy with the front of the sample
refer to the section on Triggering to work out how you want to use it. If
you think the front needs a little more editing, then fine edit it (see Fine
Edit p.7).
The BD80S lets you edit the front and rear of a sample while the unit is
looping the recording. Press the SYNC button (LED off), you will hear the
sample looping. To edit the front press ED-E (LED on) and the display will show
the current front point readout (N.B. the BD80S will automatically set up a
300ms window i.e. front point plus 300ms, which is fixed relative to any new
front points you choose). Increment the front point using the up/down keys
and you will hear the recording looping through from your new front point when
you release the increment button. When you are happy with the front point
press ED-F (LED off) and you can do the same for the rear end point. Here the
BD80S sets up a fixed 300ms window again but this time at the rear point minus
300ms. Increment the end point with the up/down buttons and listen to the
Single lms edits can be executed by pressing the increment buttons with
single pushes as opposed to keeping the button pressed, 2ms is the minimum
loop length after editing and you can listen to the sample in single bursts
by switching on the SYNC LED and pressing the manual trigger button. Needless
to say that you are not tied down to any particular order for editing. For
example, you can ignore the 'homing in' procedure and go straight to this
section if you wish especially as it may be most suitable in a lot of cases.
It's up to you.
Fine Edit
This allows accurate splicing (30 µs) of looped material and is available
on front edit only.
Press ED-F (LED on). Press SHFT and an increment button (either up or down)
This causes a change in the front edit point of 30 us. Holding down an
increment button while pressing SHFT causes the ms display to change very
slowly as you are now dealing with 30 µs steps. Listen to the recording by
pressing the manual trigger button.
Multiple samples can be stored in the memory. For each successive sample
move the new sample's front point to the end point of the previous one and
carry on as normal. Repeat this procedure until you run out of memory. To
hear all the samples played back one after the other, set the front point
to the beginning of the memory and the end point to the end of the very last
sample. To reset edit points, both front and rear (0 and 2ms), press SHFT
and ED-F.(This also sets pitch to concert '60').
Once you are satisfied with your sample turn to the section on Triggering
(p.9: ) or if you want to .pitch change it refer to the section on Pitch Change
To pitch change a sample in semitones press PTCH (LED on). The display
shows '60' this is the sample original pitch and can be altered by the
increment buttons where one nudge equals one semitone. The maximum
variation is one octave down (48) and one octave up (72).
To cancel pitch change (return to concert pitch) press ↑ and ↓
simultaneously (PITCH MODE ONLY).
Fine Pitch Change
This allows the sample's pitch to be increased or decreased in l/50th of
a semitone steps. Press PTCH (LED on), press SHFT and either the up or
down increment buttons, 50 is the original pitch of the sample (after
standard pitch change, if any) and the range here is one semitone up and
down. To cancel fine pitch change without affecting standard pitch change,
press SHFT and the up and down increment buttons simultaneously.
Sample pitch can be controlled from a MIDI keyboard where the original
sample pitch is accessed at middle C. Connect MIDI out on keyboard to
MIDI in on BS80S, make sure sending and receiving channels are the same
(MIDI p. 10 and triggering p. 9)
The BD80S has two trigger modes:
single trigger and repeat trigger.
Single Trigger
Once the first trigger has occurred, recording or playback will run
unaffected by further triggers until the end point has been reached whereupon
it can be triggered again.
Repeat Trigger
Playback will restart each time a new trigger occurs and will only run through
the recording when either the trigger stops or when the time between successive
triggers is greater than the recording length. Single trigger mode is automatically
selected in record mode. Automatic repeat trigger mode is automatically selected
in playback. Press SHFT and SYNC to change between the two trigger modes
(display exits after 2s).
Manual Trigger
This is the front panel way to trigger samples and recording.
Audio Trigger
Press TRIG (LED on) press SYNC (LED on). Any audio at either or both audio
inputs will trigger recording or playback. Threshold is set via the front panel
trim control. Audio trigger has no effect in loop mode. Audio trigger response
can be set - press SHFT and TRIG. The display will show l0ms - this means the
audio trigger will respond to a trigger every l0ms - and this value can be
changed using the up/down buttons. This does not effect the speed of trigger
only the frequency. Press SHFT and TRIG to exit.
Make sure there is not a jack in the external trigger feed socket on the back
panel as this will over-ride the audio trigger.
These triggers are fed into the rear jack socket and disconnect the audio
trigger. Press TRIG (LED on) and SYNC (LED on) and adjust threshold with the
trim control. Trigger response is set in the same way as for audio trigger
above. Suitable external sources include drum machines, audio and click
The unit can be triggered into recording from any instrument with MIDI
trigger transmit. Single and repeat trigger can also be used on MIDI playback.
With repeat trigger-key down = play start, key up = play stop. With single
trigger-key down = play start, key up has no effect, key down again = restart
playback. If next key down is before program has played through then the
program will restart.MIDI
Press SHFT and DEL0, display shows 'ALL' which means receive on all
channels. Press increment up button to read 'OFF' which means MIDI off.
Pressing the down increment button sets any one of the 16 available
receiving channels. Mode exits after 5s. Powers up in ALL mode.
↑ and ↓
Up and down increment buttons
Change display to edit front
Quick record or playback (real time)
Pitch change chromatic
Store recorded program
Ready to record/playback
Bypass delay/(unity gain)
Change phase of delay
Change phase of feedback
Modulation on
Right channel, full memory in mono
Audio/external trigger on
Fine edit front
In Pitch Mode
↑ or ↓
Fine pitch change
SHFT+ ↑ and ↓
Cancel fine pitch change
Cancel pitch set (return to concert)
Reset edit points and pitch to concert
Repeat/single trigger select
Audio/external trigger response set
Left channel, right channel, stereo select
MIDI on and channel select
XLR hot pin select.
Factory set to pin 3.
Pin 3 hot
R302 = 39K
1% .
shorting link
not fitted
not fitted
shorting link
R302 = not fitted
not fitted
R303 = 39K
R303 =not fitted
R304 = 39K
R305 = not fitted
L = left channel,
R right channel
Pin 2 hot
shorting link
R304 = not fitted
shorting link
R305 = 39K
not fitted
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