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


7 thoughts on “Binson Switching Matrix

  1. Phill Underhill

    Hi Phil I have had a good few people asking me how the Blue Nebula performs and sounds as there hasnt been a video like The HnC on the net.Can you tell me where to find any demos the only ones I have heard have been virtually reverb sounds which can be got from cheaper pedals.Thanks Phill King

  2. Tonnie

    Thanks Pill for development of the BN.
    Are you doing this alone or with help from others.
    Manny greetings Tonnie

    1. guitarphil Post author

      Definitely not on my own! Piet, Steve and Mick are the other members of the development team. You should read the (long) story of how the BN came about 🙂

  3. Tonnie

    I have read the long story before the unit came out Phil.
    PS. Have you read the message i post on the echotapper site under your name.


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