Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

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lisa
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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by lisa » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:52 pm

Great to hear, starthief! Do get back to us with your impressions of it. 🙂
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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Kattefjaes » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:07 pm

starthief wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:15 pm
I expect the Medusa isn't at all a bad piece of gear, and I wound up trading for one... looking forward to its arrival :)
I'm pretty sure a sufficiently determined user can coax something nice out of it, it honestly looks quite fun :)

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by wrngtrls » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:57 am

Two recent Medusa patches for aural reference:



and



I had a third one, too, where I was playing with cascading LFOs [what that is: there are five assignable LFOs, so you can set the fifth one to the destination parameter (say:cutoff) and then the fourth can modulate the fifth, the the third the fourth, the second the third, and the first the second, resulting in ornately structured multi-rhythmic pattern modulating what started as a simple wave-to-cf LFO]. But I didn't record it and I didn't save it.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Exit Chamber » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:17 am

wrngtrls wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:57 am
I had a third one, too, where I was playing with cascading LFOs [what that is: there are five assignable LFOs, so you can set the fifth one to the destination parameter (say:cutoff) and then the fourth can modulate the fifth, the the third the fourth, the second the third, and the first the second, resulting in ornately structured multi-rhythmic pattern modulating what started as a simple wave-to-cf LFO]. But I didn't record it and I didn't save it.
Very nice wrngtrls, I particularly like the second one.

I think this paragraph sums up why I like the Medusa so much, the sheer amount of modulation available combined with the hands on control (to assign modulation you just hold the appropriate LFO or envelope button and wiggle the relevant parameter) makes it a real joy to make patches on.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by The Junglechrist » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:35 am

Since it's been awhile my xoxbox is in repair (back this week hopefully) I had a try at replacing the acid duty with the Medusa, and it worked out pretty well ! Does not sound the same at all but with the many lfo's it's possible to make the pattern moving much than with a classic 303.


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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by starthief » Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:58 pm

Mine (special edition, used) arrived today and I've been getting to know it. I don't know if the presets that were on it were the factory ones or some of the previous owner's saved stuff, but I was really wishing for an Init preset to start with. Kind of like the Intellijel Shapeshifter, it helps enormously to figure out how to get to a default state and then save that in the first slot.

The synth engine does seem pretty basic at first -- but also kind of classic, like using a Commodore 64 but with the extra digital oscillators added on. And with exponential FM on the analog oscillators, which allows all sorts of raucousness :) I've gotten so used to digital oscillators, or at least West Coast waveshaping stuff, that it's almost a novelty to go back to sawtooth, square, and triangle.

Of course it sounds nicer with some judicious (or extreme) delay or reverb, but then everything does.

The whole parameter lock thing is seriously fun. I've never used Elektron gear (and only messed with a Volca Modular for a little while) but I guess it's kind of similar. Among many other things, It helps to retune exponential FM for each note.

It's crashed on me a couple of times already -- I think both times were switching from Grid to Note mode with Play and Rec engaged, or maybe trying to transpose it after that. I guess I should update to 3.0.1 and see if that helps.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by scottmoon » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:15 pm

I got one a week ago and am loving it. So many options for modulation. The sequencer and grid playing are great, like a little Linnstrument. Being able to do a completely different patch for each step in the sequencer is wonderful. Crazy fun. I wouldn't bother with the presets. They don't do it justice. I'm using a 16n to change some of the menu items via MIDI so less diving. The only things people might miss are there are no CV and Gate outs and effects.
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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by starthief » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:33 am

Being an FM junkie, I've been having some fun playing with FM on this. Of course exponential FM on the oscillators can't be dynamic unless you want the tuning to go all over the place (though I suppose with REALLY meticulously set pitch envelopes one could compensate...) but filter FM can be. Except the filter doesn't really track perfectly across much of a range. Still, I put together a fairly credible FM brass patch.

The oscillators and filter on this thing don't have a lot of character on their own -- it's kind of "blank slatey." I think that (plus the reluctance some people have to use FX in demos) is why people get the impression it sounds kind of bland.

But when you combine the available tools, it can sound really damn good. Take advantage of that modulation and the grid, the relative tuning /shapoes/mix of oscillators, maybe use sync and/or FM. Run it through a little drive and a touch of delay and/or reverb. This synth can definitely get nasty and weird, and can do epic drones and pads.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by dubnspace » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:21 am

looks like Juno deal on these is now dead, back up to $800 there.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Licudi » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:47 am

dubnspace wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:21 am
looks like Juno deal on these is now dead, back up to $800 there.
It's out of stock in most places. Cheapest 'in stock' UK price seems to be £749.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by The Junglechrist » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:09 am

Hey there everyone ! I made a fun discovery in the Medusa voicing option and made a short video about it :


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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by kinkujin » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:29 pm

Thanks for that Jungle!

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by starthief » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:46 pm

I just discovered voice priority a couple of days ago myself, when I wondered why my ringing notes were getting dropped when I played a new note. It's a weird mode, but I suppose it makes some sense when you're also using sync and/or FM and only want to "steal" those voices when you play chords.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by The Junglechrist » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:21 am

Hey there ! Back for another tutorial about the voicing of the Medusa. This time we go chiptune using the "Voice Per Channel" in conjunction with the Tracker as a midi sequencer :


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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by wrngtrls » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:05 pm

starthief wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:33 am
But when you combine the available tools, it can sound really damn good. Take advantage of that modulation and the grid, the relative tuning /shapoes/mix of oscillators, maybe use sync and/or FM. Run it through a little drive and a touch of delay and/or reverb. This synth can definitely get nasty and weird, and can do epic drones and pads.
The FM knob is magic with nicely tuned triads on mono play mode:



And you can get this pulsating reeds/battling bamboo sound too that I've never heard from another synth (3:35):
Last edited by wrngtrls on Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:49 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:08 am
flashheart wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:10 am
skunk3 wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:56 pm
I doubt that I am the only one, but my primary complaint about the Medusa from what I've heard is that the general sound of it is blehhhh.

I've watched so many videos. Listened to demos. I've really tried to give it a shot. On paper it seems intriguing and the look of it is killer, but when I actually start listening to the sounds it makes I'm like: 'no thanks'

Surely I'm not alone?
No you're not, I'm not keen on the sounds I've heard either. That's fine, it's just not for us. I've no problem with that, it's nice for once not to have to add something to the wish list :)
I actually tried one of these out about a year ago, and i found the sound and the functionality to be singularly uninspiring.
well, there is also the fact that I'm an idiot. I take this all back.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Tajnost » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:14 am

Just came to mind today:

Polyend Medusa as an Ableton Live controller

Is it hard to implement just a clip launch grid controller with moving focus, visulization on the grid itself (playing blinking/stopped/empty), midi notes / drum rack trigger?

How? Max4Live?

I would definitely use it and a lot!

Any thoughts?

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Tajnost » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:29 am

Medusa has really nice drone / latch mode… Have anyone seen something similar on any other hardware synth or better - midi controller?

What I like about Medusa’s mode - you can see what notes are playing and visually “compose” pieces by muting/unmuting playing pads. Never seen that before I guess! Also in poly mode voice allocation always change / rotate oscilators, makes it even more interesting.

Wondering, why there’s no such a mode in Ableton Push (yeah, possible to program with 64 midi clips for each note but… ) such a good hardware with absolutely no cool features…

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by starthief » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:15 am

You're right, latch mode on the Medusa is really nice.

Microfreak also has a hold button that I make use of all the time, but you can't toggle individual notes back off and there's no visual indicator of what's being held. Sometimes when I have a long drone going for a while I lose track of which notes they are.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Tajnost » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:17 am

starthief wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:15 am
You're right, latch mode on the Medusa is really nice.

Microfreak also has a hold button that I make use of all the time, but you can't toggle individual notes back off and there's no visual indicator of what's being held. Sometimes when I have a long drone going for a while I lose track of which notes they are.
yaeh many others can do latch / hold, but with visual feedback and limited voice allocation is completely another game... would love to find same functionality for triggering samples / external midi gear...

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by The Junglechrist » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:33 am

Hey there everyone ! I made a "nice" little piece of improvisation with my Medusa over here for those who would like to check it out:


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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by kinkujin » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:05 pm

Anyone ever have an issue with their Medusa not booting up? Mine appears to be a big paperweight. I just sent a ticket to Polyend Support. Just wondering if there’s anything to try in the meantime. Thanks.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by kinkujin » Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:41 pm

Update - solved. Had a nice couple of emails from Jacek from Polyend. I apparently wasn’t following the sequence to ‘reflash’ the firmware. Great to have this baby operational again.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by Roy72 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:56 pm

Does anyone else have problems with midi out - I have 2 other synths that don't run on the midi out of the Medusa, a GRP A2 and a Dreadbox Erebus v1 that I recently picked up. The Erebus only receives gates, but not pitch, the GRP nothing at all (which I've mentioned here earlier). Both work with other midi outs (keystep, tracker), and the Medusa will drive a Striechfett properly. It's odd, no?

The Medusa does sound like a completely different synth through the Erebus filter though, but it's too much for the more complex sounds of the 6 oscillators, takes away the organ-like qualities.

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Re: Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

Post by unclebastard » Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:18 pm

I've never had MIDI out problems from mine, which I use to trigger my Abyss.
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