MATRIXSYNTH: Search results for David Bessell

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Showing posts sorted by date for query David Bessell. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Friday, March 03, 2023

Singularity (DiN78) by Node

Node vintage modular, Paddington Station and Master rock studio 1994 video upload by David Bessell

"Full album available here
Retro video footage taken from a live performance on Paddington Station and recording sessions at Master Rock studios London in 1994. The footage from Master Rock was filmed by Mat Osman of Suede. The track 'Continental Drift' appears on the latest DiN release of material from the 1994/5 Node archive. Previously unreleased apart from the track Terminus it features the original line up of Node which included Gary Stout. alongside Dave Bessell, Ed Buller and Flood."

"Singularity is the legendary “lost” Node album. Recorded at the same time as their original sessions in 1994 this has DiN stalwart Dave Bessell join Ed Buller & Flood alongside original member Gary Stout. Presented here for the first time, mastered to modern standards but otherwise untouched and in its original form, recorded to two track with no overdubs. As a bonus the track “Terminus” is included with this release. A fascinating insight into one of the bands that helped spark the analogue revival back in the mid 90's. Mainly unreleased material sees them formulating their take on the classic Berlin school sound using their trademark mountain of vintage analogue modulars. Intriguingly this could almost be an early take on Berlin style techno in places too. An influential group of producers setting their controls for the heart of the sun.

Available now on limited edition Digipak CD (with 8 page booklet) in the DiN Bandcamp Store

USA customers can save on postage by purchasing here:

EU customers can save on postage by purchasing here:

Also 25% off (no code required) the CD & digital editions of the other two Node albums on DiN (until the end of March).

Node Live (DiN55) : CD & download

Node 2 (DiN44) : download"

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Expressive E Osmose Launch

video uploads by Expressive E

Osmose Sounds

video upload by David Bessell

"Some sounds from the Osmose. An initial impression of what it sounds like straight out of the box. This will no doubt be making an appearance on my next solo album on DiN records."

Osmose - A very different synthesiser has arrived

video upload by True Cuckoo

"This is different. It's a new journey to embark on. and I love it. Please hang out with me on my first proper sit down with the production model Osmose. I love how expressive you can be with every patch."

The Big Osmose Video - Sonic LAB

video upload by sonicstate

"After a perfect storm of COVID and global parts shortages. The Osmose instrument from Expressive E is now shipping to the backers, next step is full production.

The instrument has an incredibly sensitive playing action with a custom keybed combined with the Eagan Matrix - a highly expressive and complex sound engine offering physical modelling, FM and a lot more besides.

We had a visit from Christopher who's the main product guy for the Osmose to show Gaz Williams where this exicting new instrument has got to.

00:00:00 Start
00:01:59 GPU Sponsor Mac Support
00:02:51 Overview
00:06:15 Eagan Matrix
00:09:01 Sounds
00:11:52 Controller?
00:15:42 Pedals
00:17:56 Control Section
00:22:18 Macros
00:25:59 Sensitivty
00:33:12 Portamento and Arp
00:36:49 Percussive voices
00:41:47 MPE
00:45:09 Case and Wrap"

And the press release with pics:

"Expressive E is proud to announce Osmose, the new universal standard for musical expressivity. Osmose is a polyphonic synthesizer that unlocks new ways to control sound and features a powerful sound engine created in collaboration with the leading-edge audio company, Haken Audio.

The conclusion of an epic adventure

Three years ago, Expressive E embarked on an ambitious adventure by opening the pre-orders for their standalone synthesizer, Osmose.

Osmose elevates a playerʼs experience by introducing a new landscape of features for musicians to interact with sound and produce music in new ways. It does this while not only respecting, but also enhancing the playerʼs existing keyboard skills. Every note can be articulated independently with unique expressive possibilities, such as those seen in this Osmose gesture compilation video:

To achieve that goal, the Expressive E engineers set out to industrialize a new generation of expressive keybed which is at the core of Osmoseʼs playing experience. The biggest challenge was to implement all expressiveness-related technologies into the familiar keybed form factor of the piano that musicians have been using for centuries. Creating a new kind of keybed generated many industrial production obstacles and ultimately required a total symbiosis between DSP and hardware to connect all players to Omoseʼs sound through the use of natural gestures.

Expressive E engineers conducted hundreds of on-field test sessions to fine-tune the complex design of the synthesizer. Artists played a tremendous role in the refinement of Osmose by providing precise feedback about playing sensations and helped shape a new ergonomic tool, relevant for musicians from various music scenes and cultural horizons. Thanks to their support as well as the early adopters and partners, the wait is finally over: Osmose has now started to ship.

First deliveries and re-opening of preorders
Expressive E are thrilled to announce the delivery of the first Osmose units to early adopters of the project. The first products had already been delivered in late 2022 and early backersʼ shipments will keep flowing continuously.

Expressive E have thus decided to reopen pre-orders on January 5th 2023 for all musicians interested in purchasing Osmose. The pre-order scheme has been reconducted to allow Expressive E to anticipate demand as efficiently as possible and organize their production schedules accordingly. Despite a tense economical environment driven by inflation, component shortages and the resurgence of epidemics, the company will still commit to guaranteeing a $/€1,799 retail price, within the limits of allocated stocks.

Interested musicians can now pre-order their Osmose on Expressive Eʼs website or through an affiliated dealer. [see the dealers on the right]

A new kind of synthesizer
From its inception, Osmose was designed as a solution to connect musicians with electronic instruments more intimately while still retaining the sound-design abilities of modern-day and vintage synthesizers.

Backed by a powerful sound engine made in collaboration with pioneering audio company Haken Audio, Osmose offers more than 500 creativity-boosting presets. Each of them was fine-tuned to offer performance and recording-ready macros. Preset curation covers many musical genres including modern pop, urban, film scoring, electronic music, sound design, and traditional instrumental music.
Made to inspire, Osmose offers a playful experience based on familiar features and thus presents a gentle learning curve. It offers the benefits of MPE instruments without the need to relearn the instrument entirely.

From the beginning, Osmose has been a collaborative project with artists from many musical backgrounds. They have been involved in the development of Osmose to make it a musical companion to fit their creative and ergonomic needs. Expressive E celebrates these artist collaborations with the release of a video series recapping the Osmose adventure and the reaction of artists to the new, dynamic, inspiring synthesizer.

Shot in Chennai (India), Paris (France), and Los Angeles (USA), the video series features musicians and producers like Flying Lotus, AR Rahman, Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Dean, Cory Henry, André Manoukian, and Tarik Azzouz. It shows their approach to musical expression, how they interact with Osmose, and how this new synthesizer has influenced the way they play. A trailer for the series is now available on YouTube.

During Q1 and Q2 2023 Expressive E will regularly release clips focusing on each individual artist from the main trailer video. The first three episodes of the series are now available on YouTube. They feature musical icon A.R. Rahman (Grammy winner and film scorer for 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire), jazz virtuoso J3PO (a prolific solo artist and keyboardist for Marcus Miller), and trap beatmaker veteran Tarik Azzouz (a Grammy winner who has worked with Jay-Z, DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz, and many more)."

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Analogue Synthesizer, Minimoog, Alesis Andromeda, Prophet 6, Macbeth M5, Eurorack

video upload by David Bessell

"Seventh Window - A track from the album Imaginator by Dave Bessell and Liam Boyle. You can find the full album here https://davebessellandliamboyle.bandc...
Released on Groove Unlimited.

The video is by Sam Cox and you can find his youtube channel here"

"Dave Bessell and Liam Boyle first met on Facebook through an interest in Node. Liam has a very wide range of mu-sical interests and skills including the classical avant garde so Dave invited him to a performance of one of his classi-cal modernist pieces for orchestra at Plymouth University. The two hit it off and first collaborated on a track called Theme One from Dave’s solo electronic album ‘Black Horses of the Sun’. It was always on the cards that these two would collaborate further and in 2020 the opportunity arose which resulted in this latest album ‘Imaginator’ their first on Groove Unlimited.

Liam has produced a number of film socres for american independent films as well as recording multiple electronic albums such as ‘Off World’ and more recently ‘Waveforms’ He continues to explore electronic sound design, visuals, guitar and classical compositions

Dave Bessell, founder member of synth group Node, has been releasing a series of fascinating solo and collaborative EM albums over recent years, mainly on DiN records. He also has a lengthy back story involving session playing programming and arranging for a variety of artists and labels including Killing Joke and Suede. Along the way he also picked up a Phd in classical orchestration from the Royal College of Music.

This latest collaboration is the first full album with versatile soundtrack and EM composer Liam Boyle. It is also the first release for these artists on Groove Unlimited. The musical emphasis here is on both melody and sonic explora-tion with an atmospheric soundtrack feel throughout. Not surprising really considering both artists have seperately worked on soundtracks - from independent films to TV. The music is detailed and multilayered repaying close and repeated listening and is realised entirely with analogue hardware, plus a little heavily treated and disguised guitar. Dave also uses an unusual instrument on a couple of tracks called an Aum guitar which is designed to be played with an ebow and sounds nothing like a guitar!

released January 1, 2022"

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Moog Sub37 free rhythmic looping sounds no talking. Techno Industrial

video upload by David Bessell

Also see Andromeda A6 Free Sounds No talking by David Bessell.

"Exploring looped envelopes and synched LFO's ten free presets. Download here
Each segment in the video starts with the preset and then demonstrates how they can be morphed into all sorts of related rhythmic loops. (just experiment and keep the DAW recording!) Just four examples are given in the video, there are ten in the downloadable link. Intended to spice up more conventional kick snare and hi hat patterns. the presets are named by BPM, synch to your DAW at those tempos otherwise they will not sound right. Several of them will work at other tempos but a few get a bit messy and random at different speeds. Have fun."

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Andromeda A6 Free Sounds No talking

video upload by David Bessell

"10 free sounds from my personal collection. Go here to download the Sysex files.

Midi Ox will work to load them into the A6. The sounds make creative use of the A6 gain structure so the levels vary quite a bit. I haven't normalised them in this video so you hear exactly what you get. Usually I avoid the inbuilt FX but not entirely. Most of the patches would benefit from suitable external FX. (I add Eventide Space when I'm using them in a track). I sometimes use the aux outs as well as the main outs so if any of the patches make no sound check the output assignments. You can hear these and other sounds on the A6 being used in a more musical context on my DiN and Groove Unlimited releases. Have a nice day. db

Monday, January 03, 2022

Imaginator by Dave Bessell and Liam Boyle

Analogue synth, Eurorack, modular, Dave Bessell, Liam Boyle, 360 , VR, ambient, psychedelic visuals video upload by David Bessell

"New release from Dave Bessell (Node) and Liam Boyle (soundtrack composer) on Groove Unlimited. The album is titled Imaginator and was released on 1st Jan 2022.

A compelling release of electronic music on the borders between ambient, soundtrack and Berlin school with wide ranging influences from prog to techno, the Bowie/Eno electronic collaborations, Krautrock, classical and probably some more things that we forgot to list! As such it is a varied album with melodic tracks, atmospheres and creative sound design using the full range of analogue keyboards and modular synths along with a little treated guitar. On a couple of tracks an unusual instrument appears called an Aum guitar which is designed to be played with an ebow and sounds nothing like a guitar! Overall it is a good showcase for what can be done with these instruments in the hands of these experienced and well respected musicians.

This release also has an interesting immersive promotional video filmed in 360/VR. [above]

Available from bandcamp and the Groove Unlimited website as CD or download. This one will repay repeated listenings as it reveals its multiple layers."

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Node in the studio. Node 2, vintage modular, Flood, Mel Wesson, Ed Buller, Dave Bessell

video upload by David Bessell

"Just a short tease of Node recording Node 2 at Assault and Battery studios in London.
You can find the album here Also Node live at the Royal College of Music here"

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Codex by David Bessell

Published on Apr 9, 2020 David Bessell

New from supporting member, David Bessel.

"Codex, track One from the new release 'Reality Engine' on DiN records. Download and CD here"

Top image by Nigel Mullaney, bottom by Neil Fellowes

Dave Bessell Reality Engine DiN62

Release date 17th April 2020

Limited to 500 copies Digipak CD

Bar Code 5028423200628

Dave Bessell is a familiar name for followers of the DiN label for his previous solo release, “Black Horses Of the Sun” (DiN47), his two collaborations with Parallel Worlds (DiN41 & 56) and being a founder member of synth supergroup Node (DiN44 & 55).

This latest downtempo electronica solo release sees Bessell indulge his passion for literature in compositions inspired by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, the Brothers Grimm and Lord Dunsany. The tracks are coloured with a strong flavour of magic realism - think “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “The Science Of Sleep”. Sonically “Reality Engine” draws on a whole variety of musical influences, from classical to psybient taking in innovative analogue modular sound design and expansive evolving musical journeys along the way. Bessell often uses unusual instrumentation alongside his analogue and modular synths and here he uses the beautiful Aum guitar to stunning effect. Full of engaging atmospheric moods and distinctive melodies, the album contains a wealth of detail that repays repeated listenings.

The album also comes with downloadable links (via Bandcamp) to specially created 3D environments that can be viewed in virtual reality (or can be navigated around with a mouse if you don't have access to a VR headset). You can see an example here:

This new album showcases once again the simply unique voice of this talented electronic music composer.

1 Codex : 5.57
2 The Silver Thread : 7:16
3 Ghost Of Lost Cities : 7:10
4 Sleeping Air Awakes : 5:01
5 A Man Is A Small Thing And The Night Is Large And Full Of Wonders : 6:44
6 Raven King : 6:38
7 The Fountains Are Singing : 5:09
8 The Tower : 6:05
9 Neverwhere : 9:25

Total Time: 59:41

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Node Live Trailer

Published on Mar 11, 2020 David Bessell

"A short trailer for the forthcoming Node live footage. Should be available to buy soon."


Some synth spotting with supporting member, David Bessell aka Node.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guitar controlled analogue synth. Tutorial 6 by David Bessell

Published on Jun 20, 2017 David Bessell

"A demonstration of an analogue synth controlled by guitar. You can hear this and the other techniques from this tutorial series being used in a more musical context on my releases on DiN records."

You can find all parts in the series here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Creative Patching Tutorials 4 & 5 with a MacBeth M5N

Published on Jun 20, 2017 David Bessell

"You can hear sounds produced with this patch in a more musical context on my releases on DiN records."

All parts here.

Analogue SequencerTutorial 5

Published on Jun 20, 2017 David Bessell

"A quick way of generating musical variation from a step sequencer. For those times when exact repetition just won't cut it. Check out my releases on DiN records to hear these analogue machines being put through their paces."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

David Bessell Synthesis Tutorials Featuring the Mos Lab System 32 and Vermona Perfourmer Mk11

Published on Apr 26, 2017 David Bessell

These are pretty impressive. Note the layering of different "patches" to get the desired results.

1. Cymbal synthesis tutorial
2. Wooden Block synthesis
3. Snare synthesis tutorial
4. Creative Patching Tutorial 4
5. Analogue SequencerTutorial 5
6. Guitar controlled analogue synth. Tutorial 6

"New synthesis tutorials from analogue guru Dave Bessell of Node. Featuring Mos Lab system 32 modular and Vermona Perfourmer, but the patches should be transferable to other similar synths. These tutorials are aimed at intermediate to advanced level, and assume a basic knowledge of envelopes, filters, and familiarity with basic modular patching conventions. There is some genuinely interesting knowledge here that goes into more detail than the usual Youtube beginners guide. The presentation is concise and clear."

You can hear some examples of these patches in a more musical context on David Bessell's releases on DiN records. In particular this one -

Friday, April 13, 2012

Starry Serge by Bakis

via Bakis of Parallel Worlds

"Parallel Worlds are currently finishing their collab album with David Bessell (of NODE), due for release until end of 2012."

Click for the full size shot.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

PW at work

via Bakis Sirros on

"While preparing the new collab Parallel Worlds cd album with David Bessell (of NODE)
various patched modular machines photos, while preparing various things...."

more pics here

Friday, November 30, 2007

David Rogoff on VCOs

David Rogoff sent the following into the Yamaha CS80 list. I asked him if I could put it up and he gave me the OK.

"This touches on a big, somewhat technical, issue of what kind of VCOs the CS80 uses. The VCO III chip is a linear VCO, sometimes called Hz/Volt, as opposed to the more common exponential (Volts/Octave) VCOs (e.g. MiniMoog, Curtis & SSM chips in SCI and Oberheim polys).

Here's a pretty good explanation: link

Here's a (I hope) quick one:
The most basic VCO is a sawtooth one, which can be a capacitor charged by a current. For non-EE types, here's my modified toilet analog (and you though the Metasonix vacuum-tube VCO was weird) : The capacitor is like the water tank of a toilet. The water filling it up is the current. The height of the water is like the voltage across the capacitor. Now, modify the float valve so that when the tank is full it automatically flushes. Then the cycle starts again. If you double the water filling rate ( = double the current), you double the frequency of the flush cycles.

The is a basic, linear VCO (actually Water-CO). It shows a couple of things. First, it's not actually voltage controlled, but current controlled. Ignore that for now. Also, the filling time is adjustable, but the discharge/flushing time is fixed. This is an issue with all sawtooth VCOs and is why many (e.g. Moog) VCOs have a high-frequency-tracking adjustment, which helps cancel this out. Here's the CS80 VCO: link

Ok, so why don't all synths use linear VCOs? As the above link explains, human ears don't hear frequency linearly. A above middle C is 440Hz. An octave about is 880Hz, or double the frequency. The next octave would be 1760Hz: double that. If you graph this, it's an exponential curve. So, the space (in Hertz) between two notes keeps getting bigger as we get to high pitches. If you had a modular synth with linear VCOs (like that old Paia), the top key might output 5 volts. One octave down would be 2.5volts. The next 1.25volts, followed by 0.625v and 0.3125v. This is a pain to generate. Also, as you get to lower notes, smaller voltage inaccuracies start becoming bigger pitch errors to our ears.

To avoid all this, someone (anyone know who? Dr. Bob? Tom Oberheim? Don Buchla?) came up with exponential VCOs. Basically, they're just a linear VCO with a circuit in front of them called (big surprise) an exponential converter. This is just a circuit that takes a linear input (1volt/octave) and outputs the doubling voltage (actually current...) that the VCO wants. Now, everything is simple.

So, why did Yamaha go for the linear? Two reasons, I'd guess. First, adding the exponential converter to each VCO adds more cost to the chips, since there's more circuitry. A bigger issue is temperature stability. As we've been talking about lately, all circuits are affected (i.e. knocked out of tuning) by temperature changes. The exponential converter, for reasons I won't go into, is really sensitive to this. People have been complaining about the tuning stability of the CS80, but it's rock solid compared to any poly-synth with exponential VCOs (P5, OBX, A6, etc). They all need computer-controlled auto-tuning routines to have any chance of staying in tune.

So, what issues/problems/advantages does the CS80 having linear VCOs create?

Good things:
1) modulation - linear vibrato sounds a bit different than v/oct vibrato, probably closer to acoustic vibrato (e.g. violin). Also, as the modulation speed increases, you start getting into F.M. land, which requires linear modulation (you don't want to know the math!). This is why some modular VCOs have linear FM inputs in addition to the normal v/oct controls.

2) sweep to D.C. - my favorite. If you start a pitch bend at the right end of the ribbon and slide all the way to the left, the pitch of the VCOs all go down to 0Hz / D.C. / flat-line. This is because the input to the VCOs goes to 0 volts and the frequency equals the voltage times a constant. With a exponential VCO this is impossible. Going 1 volt less on the control input goes down one octave. Mathematically, you can't get to zero Hz. You'd need to input -infinity volts! Also, many other limitations in the circuit block the VCO from even getting close. Big win for linear VCOs!

Bad things:
1) Keyboard voltages - as I wrote above, the keyboard has to generate exponential voltages. This is a big pain. In a digitally-controlled analog (like the CS80, P5, etc), the keyboard voltage comes from a DAC (digital-analog-converter). 99.99% of DACs are linear. The CS50/60/80 (and others in the family) have bizarre, custom exponential DACs. This makes interfacing the CS80 to other synths and/or MIDI-CV converters a pain.

2) CV mixing. Finally, we get to the original question of adding a pitch-bend input to the CS80. In the volts/octave world, everything is easy: you just add voltages together. Adding voltages is simple to do - just an op-amp and a few resistors. Let's say you had the following voltages come out of a v/oct keyboard: 1v, 2v, 4v. This could represent a low C (c1), C one octave up (c2), and C two octave above that (c4). To make it simple, let's say we have a pitch wheel or pedal add 1 volt to this (2v, 3v, 5v). This would be c2, c3, c5, so we've just transposed the sequence up an octave.

Ok, what happens if we try this with a linear voltage. For the same c1, c2, c4 notes, we might have 1volt, 2volt, 8volt. Adding one volt gives 2volt, 3volt, 9volt. The first note is correctly up an octave, but the next is only up about a 5th and the third note is only transposed up about a semitone. This, obviously, doesn't work. What we need to do, instead, is multiply the voltages. To transpose up an octave, double the voltages. To transpose down an octave, halve them. This is easy for a fixed transpose, but if you want a variable, like a pitch-bend pedal input, you need to multiply voltages. Just like it's much, much easier for people to add and subtract than multiply and divide, so it is for analog (and digital) circuitry.

If you follow the schematics or block diagram of the CS80, you can see that the voltage to the VCOs comes through a long chain of multiplications. The ribbon is actually the initial voltage source for the whole instrument. If the ribbon isn't pressed it outputs some fixed voltage (not sure the actual value - call it 2 volts). If the ribbon is slid up, all the way, from the left to the right, it would output double this voltage, which corresponds to one octave up. If the ribbon is slid the other way, it outputs zero volts, as mentioned above. Next, the voltage is sent through the concentric pitch knobs. Any normal potentiometer is a voltage multiplier, which can multiply the input by anything from zero to one.

This voltage then becomes the reference input to the exponential DAC on the KAS board, which multiplies it by it's exponential resistor network to create the CVs for each of the either voices. These voltages go to the VCO chips on the M-Boards. Are we done - nope - one more CS80 weirdness. In a v/oct synth, the octave/foot switches would just generate a voltage that would be added to the keyboard CV (e.g. MiniMoog). The CS80 VCO, instead, has a special footage input that needs an exponential current for each feet setting. Because this is difficult to do accurately over a wide range, we end up with the wonderful VR4, VR5, and VR6 trimmers to get the feet switching calibrated separately for each of the 16 VCOs. Yuch!

Getting back to the original question (remember Alice? There's a song about Alice...), a pitch bend input would need to control a voltage multiplier. This could be an added circuit, after the ribbon circuit, or could probably be merged with the ribbon voltage. I haven't figured out the details, but it's not rocket science. However, it is a lot more work than it would be on something like a Prophet 5.

Ok, I guess that wasn't quick, but at least I didn't have an graphs or get into transistor curves or Bessell functions.


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