Patch Editor/Beheerder Gebruikers Handleiding

Thanks to the hard work of Piet Verbruggen, there is now a version of the Blue Nebula Librarian User Guide in Dutch for our many Blue Nebula users from the Netherlands.

Piet’s work on the eTap2hw and Blue Nebula projects plus his work experience as a Technical Author was a big help in this undertaking which was certainly no easy job!

Thanks also to Piet’s wife Anny and to Tonnie Tijssen for proof reading.

You can download the pdf document here and, as always, all the latest documentation and software/firmware versions are available on the ‘Latest Updates Here’ page.

I’ve also updated the English version of the Librarian User Guide, mainly with some minor improvements to layout and a few corrections. Get it here.

Librarian Update to 4.01

Reminder: You need to have Java installed on your computer to be able to run the Librarian. If you have the 32-bit version of Java you will only be able to run the 32-bit Librarian even if your OS is 64-bit. If you have a 64-bit Windows Operating System, please check this page for information on which version of Java you should download if you don’t already have it.

Librarian Version 4.01 is an update that fixes a bug in the previous Version 4.00.

The bug prevented the Librarian from correctly interpreting the ‘Heads’ data sent by the Blue Nebula for emulations with numbers between 5 and 15 that use the ‘coded’ ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ values. It caused the wrong head letter to be received by the Librarian and all head settings became ‘A’ instead of the correct letter value from the Blue Nebula patch. This incorrect value would have been saved in any patch files saved with the Save Patches button in the Librarian. If this patch data was subsequently sent back to the Blue Nebula using the Send All Patches button it will have corrupted the heads value in the Blue Nebula’s patches. You should check and correct the Heads settings in any affected patches and resend them to the Blue Nebula.

The Blue Nebula Firmware 3.02 does not require a fix for this bug, only the Librarian.

The updated software can be downloaded from the Latest Updates Here link above.

Make sure you download the correct version depending on your Windows Operating System: 32-bit or 64-bit. The 32-bit Librarian will work on 64-bit Windows systems but the 64-bit version of Librarian will not work on a 32-bit Windows OS.

The update for Mac OSX will be available as soon as possible.


Dutch User Manual

Thanks to the efforts of Piet Verbruggen there is now a Dutch version of the Blue Nebula User Manual available. You can download it via the ‘Latest Updates Here’ link on the menu bar above or here.

I hope to have the Dutch version of the Librarian User Guide available soon.

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.