As some of you will have heard on social media and various forums a new guitar effects pedal to be called the Blue Nebula will be launching soon. The Blue Nebula is a compact stomp-box style effects pedal design with a strong emphasis on accurately emulating the sounds of vintage tape-based echo units but with the ability for users to upload new effects that cover a wide range of other popular sounds.Designed by a four-man team including yours truly (firmware and software), Steve Mitchell (new analog preamp design), Piet Verbruggen (DSP programming) and Mick Taylor (hardware and PCB design), the Blue Nebula is released as an open source/open hardware project.
The Blue Nebula will be available as a kit or built-to-order. Prices to be confirmed.
- Accurately emulates many classic tape echo machines
- Can be loaded with up to 8 additional general guitar effects such as chorus, phaser, reverbs, shimmer verb and other echo effects which can be uploaded via USB
- Other effects in the pipeline include emulations of the classic Binson Echorec (think Pink Floyd) and an enhanced Vox Long Tom echo.
- Three parameter control knobs which, for example, can control dry/wet mix, feedback or chorus rate.
- Built-in USB and MIDI In ports
- All firmware updates and new effect sets are uploaded via a normal USB cable – no need for additional special ‘programmers’.
- Advanced built-in automation firmware controls the Blue Nebula and provides full editing facilities
- Firmware easily updated via the USB port
- 16×2 Character LCD display shows patch names, parameter knob functions and other details when editing
- 22 built-in factory presets for classic Shadows tunes such as Apache, Wonderful Land etc.
- 128 User definable patches to store any other settings you can come up with
- Can also be used in a simple manual mode – just select your effect and tweak it by adjusting the parameter knobs in real time
- Up and Down patch change footswitches and True bypass footswitch
- Advanced low-noise 4-FET preamplifier designed to emulate the valve preamplifiers used in some of the classic tape echo machines
- Gain and Pre Level knobs control the generation of ‘valve-like’ harmonics and match a wide range of guitar pickups from vintage single coils to ‘hot’ humbuckers
- Master output level control to match the bypass level or maybe set it for a clean boost with a ‘No Effect’ patch
- Fully-featured Patch Editor & Librarian application which is Free to download.
Some links to the Blue Nebula User Manual, the Building Instructions and the Bill of Materials are given below.
If you are thinking of building a Blue Nebula please read the Building Instructions thoroughly to determine if it is within your capabilities. Most of the components are through-hole types but there are a few surface mount components. The kit can be supplied with these already soldered in place for you.