Tag Archives: Echo

New Effects Pedal Launching Soon

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.

Update: The Blue Nebula is available from Stanley FX priced at £249.99 plus £15 shipping to any destination worldwide.IMG_3108Designed 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.

Main Features

  • 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.




Front Panel is Done!

I removed all the front panel controls, deburred any holes or cutouts that needed it, cleaned the panel with white spirit and applied the print. Again there are a few blemishes. I’m beginning to think that the adhesive layer is not uniformly applied to the vinyl sheet and these blemishes are where there is less/no adhesive – so not my fault after all 🙂


The Finished EchoTapper Units

I ended up building two units. My prototype has ended up in a nice vintage looking Tolex covered wooden enclosure after I spent the last couple of months adding automation features to the basic echo circuitry. The automation version uses an Arduino Uno, a Adafruit I2C LCD and an interface shield to connect the various bits together in a nice Hammond enclosure.

The most recent addition, and hopefully the last piece of hardware to be incorporated, is a small interface board with MIDI In and MIDI out ports.

The Automation Version

The Automation Version – built in a Hammond extruded Aluminium enclosure

It's recently had MIDI added to it!

It’s recently had MIDI added to it!

The manual unit, front view

The manual unit, front view – it has a real vintage vibe with the tan coloured Vox Tolex.

The Ins and Outs.

The Ins and Outs.