Monthly Archives: August 2016

Blue Nebula Instructional Videos

A few short videos I put together to show how to use the Blue Nebula and it’s Librarian software.

Blue Nebula

Start-up Options

Using the Manual Mode

Patch Editing

Librarian Features

Backing up and Restoring Patches

Arranging a Setlist


Blue Nebula Demo Recordings

Naturally a number of you have been asking where/when you can hear some demos of the Blue Nebula. Thanks to Steve Reynolds and Alan Simm for permission to post these links to their excellent recordings made using their Blue Nebula pedals.

Update: Two more Blue Nebula tunes. These are from Tonnie Tijssen – scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Enjoy 🙂

Wonderful Land (Alan)

Fields of Gold (Alan)

Blue Star (Alan)

Yesterday Once More (Alan)

California Blue (Steve)

In a Persian Market (Steve)

Fairytale (Steve)

What a Wonderful World (Steve)

Iggle Piggle (Steve)

Buganvilla (Tonnie)

Till (Tonnie)

Binson Switching Matrix

The Blue Nebula comes pre-loaded with 8 extra effects in its second effects memory, in addition to the classic Meazzi, Vox and Roland emulations in the first memory. Among these extra effects are three effects, coded by Steve Mitchell, that emulate the Binson Echorec 2 magnetic drum echo machine.

Figure 1: Binson Echorec 2

The Binson Echorec 2 had four equally-spaced playback heads around a motor-driven drum which had magnetic wire wrapped around its circumference. The signal was recorded onto the drum using a record head and the delayed signals were picked up by the four heads before the signal was erased by a magnet. The speed of the drum was fixed and this, and the spacing of the play-back heads, resulted in up to four separate equally-spaced delayed signals with a maximum delay (from Head 4) of about 300ms.

Figure 2: The Binson magnetic drum and the record and playback heads

A 12-way switching matrix was used to select one of 12 combinations of the four heads. You can see the 12-way switch at the right hand end of the Binson in the photo Figure 1.

In the Blue Nebula Binson emulations we have replicated these 12 original combinations and added another three that were not available on the real Binson.

There are three Binson emulations (#8, #9 and #10) that cover the 15 head combinations in groups of five. The heads selection within each emulation is made using the P2 knob which is shown as ‘Heads’ on the Blue Nebula LCD. The P2 heads selections are shown on the LCD as A, B, C, E and F, the same method we use for the Meazzi and Vox echo models.


The table below shows the Blue Nebula’s Binson switching matrix; the first 12 entries correspond to the 1-12 positions of the Binson switch; the last three entries are the extra head combinations not available on a normal 12-position Binson switch.

Effect # Effect Name[1] ‘Heads’ Selection[2] Head1 Head2 Head3 Head4
8 Binson-B2-1-5 A 1 0 0 0
8 Binson-B2-1-5 B 0 1 0 0
8 Binson-B2-1-5 C 0 0 1 0
8 Binson-B2-1-5 E 0 0 0 1
8 Binson-B2-1-5 F 1 1 0 0
9 Binson-B2-6-10 A 0 1 1 0
9 Binson-B2-6-10 B 0 0 1 1
9 Binson-B2-6-10 C 1 0 1 0
9 Binson-B2-6-10 E 0 1 0 1
9 Binson-B2-6-10 F 1 1 1 0
10 Binson-B2-11-15 A 0 1 1 1
10 Binson-B2-11-15 B 1 1 1 1
10 Binson-B2-11-15 C 1 0 0 1
10 Binson-B2-11-15 E 1 1 0 1
10 Binson-B2-11-15 F 1 0 1 1


  1. A ‘1’ in one of the Head columns indicates that head is on, a zero indicates it is off.
  2. Feedback is taken from all selected heads in a patch, e.g. replay heads 1+2+3+4 uses feedback taken from all 4 heads.
  3. The last three selections are not available on a normal 12-position Binson switch.
  4. When selecting the multi-heads there is an equal attenuation applied to ensure that head summation cannot exceed +3dB to keep headroom intact in the DSP chip. Hence more attenuation is used as more heads are included in a patch setting.
  5. There is a similar attenuation for feedback to ensure that oscillation cannot go out of control.

[1] The Blue Nebula comes pre-loaded with three Binson Echorec emulations (numbers 8, 9 and 10) in the second effect bank

[2] The ‘Heads’ selection (shown as A, B, C, E or F on the LCD) is made using the P2 knob on the Blue Nebula

Click the following link for a nicely formatted version of this table 🙂

Binson Switching Matrix

Blue Nebula Patch Database

In order to make it easier for Blue Nebula users to share their User Patches with others, I’ve set up a database on my Google Drive with a simple form that you complete and submit so the patch information is added to the database. The database itself is in the form of a spreadsheet that you can open to view the patches that users have submitted.

Important: By completing the form and submitting your patch data to the database you are consenting to have this information placed in the public domain.

To see the patches in the database click here

The fields you will find on the form (below) are:

  • Patch Name – usually the name of the tune which this patch is intended for (16 characters maximum)
  • The Effect Number – this is a drop-down list that you can use to choose from the BN’s 16 built-in effects
  • The parameter knob settings – P1, P2 and P3 (please use the 0-10 range for these)
  • Author’s Name – so you get the credit for your creation. Use a nickname/forum name if you prefer
  • An optional Comment field – leave it blank or add any additional information you wish.