Dreadbox Medusa monosynth

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booger
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Post by booger » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:57 pm

I like the AutomaticGainsay vids. I’ve played and owned synths for over twenty years and definitely appreciate Marc’s attention to all of the details. He might overdo it on the number of vids devoted to one synth but honestly that’s the stuff I want to see when I’m lasered in on a product (or when I’m waiting on FedEx). Too much info isn’t a terrible thing.

Too much negative opinion can be a bore, though.

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RickKleffel
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Post by RickKleffel » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:15 pm

Polyend has a Beta out that they are willing to email to you! I have it, have not installed yet. They are responsive and seem to be very much on top of this. Pretty impressive round of improvements to my mind. To get it email hello@polyend.com; Jacek will pop it right over.

from the instructions.txt file....

MIDI Channel per voice!!!!!!!

Update history:

v1.1.0 beta (04.10.18)

Fixes
- Few minor MIDI bugs fixed.
- Repaired scale generator.
- Fixed menu display bugs.
- The highest note on the Grid isn't repeated anymore, just muted.
- X, Y & Z targets are now modulated by the last pressed pad only!
- The AMP as a X, Y & Z pad modulation target in the P1 and P2 modes is now functional (this is dependent from the AMP ENV Amount knob position).

Updates
- Redesigned auto-calibration function - updated.
- New MIDI menu (full bilateral MIDI input/output implementation - including transport, clock, CC communicates & MIDI channels).
- The Grid MPE functionality is now enabled for controlling external gear.
- MIDI channel per voice option. Control, play and sequence each of Medusa's voices on a separate MIDI channel form 1 to 6 (fixed mode) with external MIDI gear (this works in P2 mode only).

v1.0.2
Fixes
- Slightly adjusted filter functionality.

v1.0.1
Fixes
- Improved parameter display in certain menus.
- Fixed bug where the back button was dropping values to 0.
- Better noise envelope in the polyphonic play modes.
- Enhanced filter resonance envelope.

Updates
- A developed method of assigning the ENV & LFO targets. Besides using the target knob, now hold the ENV or LFO button and nudge the synth parameter you want to target.
- Connected with the above, now double-click the ENV or LFO button to toggle it on/off.
- Revised digital oscillators waveforms.

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GovernorSilver
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Post by GovernorSilver » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:27 pm

Sounds like a great update and Jacek sounds like a cool guy.

RickKleffel what are your thoughts on the filter? Also, is there a "live panel" mode like the Prophet 6?
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RickKleffel
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Post by RickKleffel » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:17 pm

Man of the people Speaks His Mind....

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_JsJ3yPOigk" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

A balanced review; all of the bits he asked for but for the split address [grid to control external gear while synth responds to external (or internal) sequencer] are addressed in the latest firmware update.

TBH, made me glad i bought the damn thing, as i would have wanted it having seen this. He did manage to get some very nice sounds out of it!

[Yes, did the embed wrong, pm me if you'd like to let me know the correct manner.]

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Post by Panason » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:24 pm

Open youtube video , copy URL, paste it in your comment, remove the s from https (if it's there), highlight the link and click the Video button.

Review sans synth tutorial :razz:
[video][/video]


Underwhelming.
Last edited by Panason on Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GovernorSilver
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Post by GovernorSilver » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:25 pm

Here ya go, the most perfect Youtube reviewer in the world:

[video][/video]
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Post by Panason » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:27 pm

No velocity on the pads... w.t.f.

Another product released half-cooked.

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Post by tehyar » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:39 pm

Panason wrote:No velocity on the pads... w.t.f.

Another product released half-cooked.
Yet the pads have x/y. So they transmit two dimensions instead of just one. Finger position instead of pressure is still playable with tons of expression.

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Post by ludotex » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:49 am

Panason wrote:No velocity on the pads... w.t.f.

Another product released half-cooked.
Isn't the Z supposed to be the velocity?
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Post by buzzlegs » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:02 am

Panason wrote:No velocity on the pads... w.t.f.

Another product released half-cooked.
if you need velocity on a synth you're using them wrong, synths are for making mad, strange and interesting sounds, not trying to replicate a piano!;)

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Post by Panason » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:21 pm

Oh my , there's been some drama in the comments under SonicState's YT review... Polyend guy has now edited his comments so the evidence is gone but the responses indicate he is butthurt about people calling out the fails of his expensive machine...

I am not surprised, when I emailed him with a feature request for his expensive sequencer the reply was arrogant and dismissive.

this comment pretty much sums up my impression of this machine
its a tedious nightmare that has no character. .... And of course it being driven thru an effects device is the give away that it does in fact sound cheap which it is. No more synths that aren’t ready please. This one is a firmware nightmare . Nick you should have just passed on this one. Just saying I sent mine back after realizing I had just purchased a thousand dollar toy.
Nick's decision to use a reverb box on it for the review is certainly .... interesting.

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Post by GUM » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:24 pm

my excitement for this was pretty high and is now almost all but squashed.

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Post by GavRL » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:31 pm

I’ve read most of the stuff on the YouTube. Whilst it was undoubtedly ill-advised, I can well understand falling into the trap of biting back. For what it’s worth, I bought a Seq and have spoken to Jacek a few times as a customer and found polyend to be really helpful and responsive. As for the Medusa, yeah it is buggier than I’m sure they’d want at the minute, but they’re constantly working on the firmware and allow users to get involved at the Beta stage. The synth itself looks really interesting and is pretty unique in terms of design, and the Seq is exactly what I wanted and is a pleasure to use.

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Post by franktropez » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:34 pm

Was considering getting a medusa and selling my a4. That's off the table now.
Feel really bad for Yannis, hope this doesn't negatively affect his dreadbox business. Will be supporting him by buying a erebus 3 asap. :D

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Post by Panason » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:43 pm

Yannis should partner up with someone else for hybrid designs. Novation could have done a good job on this while keeping it affordable.

Polyend is way too focused on making devices that look sleek but are shallow on features- surely a follower of Apple's "lack of features is a feature" design.

That sequencer costs nearly a grand and cannot send any MIDI CC other than mod wheel... but it looks very nice on a glass desk next to an Apple laptop and not much else..

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Post by GovernorSilver » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:58 pm

franktropez wrote:Was considering getting a medusa and selling my a4. That's off the table now.
Feel really bad for Yannis, hope this doesn't negatively affect his dreadbox business. Will be supporting him by buying a erebus 3 asap. :D
I think Dreadbox will be ok. Yannis said he wants to work on a new synth that will still be essentially analog but with more digital control. I know that sounds vague but it makes me optimistic that an Abyss v2 will appear in the near future.
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Post by franktropez » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:06 pm

I feel that's an overly harsh appraisal of the medusa and polyend in general. And also people that like slick looking things. Or minimalists.

Obviously a lot of cool things can be done with this synth. I have the feeling they may have been in over their heads a bit, the omission of velocity is kind if incomprehensible.

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Post by GavRL » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:28 pm

It’s a nonsense response, but to each their own. The Medusa seems to be stacked to the rafters with potential - certainly not simple at all. As for Seq, it has an awful lot going for it. Dismissing on the grounds that it doesn’t have the exact feature set that you want, works on the assumption that everyone wants what you want from a sequencer. The Cirklon is for you, obviously. Personally, the UI and workflow of the Seq is where it shines. I want to never have to menu dive or reach for a manual. I want the sequencer to act as an alternative to DAW based composition, and to be able to just play and try ideas out simply and quickly. It does these things exceptionally well. It controls all my synths without fuss. Yes I’d like to be able to use my own chords on the single track polyphony and not just select from the (albeit extensive) list of theirs, but this is in development and imminent.

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Post by jameshenry » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:43 am

This thing seems like they did not take into account what a friendly workflow of a sequencer consists of. But it doesn't help to have to toggle through 2 menus for grid vs note mode. One mode for notes, another for modulation.

Then the LED's on the pads are supposed to help you differentiate between what notes have modulation, etc... and they are completely useless. It would have been better to have 2 colors instead the one clear color. It's next to impossible to tell what is what based on whether this one is more dim than that one.

What really turned me off was deleting notes. You can't cycle through the sequence in notes mode to figure out what note you want to delete. You have to go back to grid mode, hit a particular pad to hear the note, then go back to note mode and delete the note on the pad. Really weird IMO. They need to implement the ability to cycle through the sequence in note mode with the rotary encoder and hear the notes on each step. If that was the case, I might have kept it. It's a cool unit, I just don't think it's $1200 cool.

So it's on its way back to SW. I was contemplating a Manther as a replacement, that is until I came on here and read through the thread on the Manther. Which leads me to my next question. Do people actually test shit, or just design it, build and and ship it out the door? You would think that they would hire someone that has had a bunch of sequencers like me (I've owned them all) and actually give input as to what a friendly workflow within a sequencer should be like. But it seems that shit is just shipped out the door and then they pray everyone will like it with minimal complaints.

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Post by Panason » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:32 am

GavRL wrote:As for Seq, it has an awful lot going for it. Dismissing on the grounds that it doesn’t have the exact feature set that you want, works on the assumption that everyone wants what you want from a sequencer. The Cirklon is for you, obviously.
Obviously I am dismissing it for myself, everybody buys what they want. You don't need to go to all the way to the Cirklon to be able to send more than just notes and modwheel from a hardware sequencer. Basic sequencers from the 90s could do more. With just 1 or 2 more MIDI CCs you can get a lot more interesting and expressive sequences out of a synth.. I think this is a pretty standard need for electronic musicians who don't just use sample libraries to get interesting synth lines.

I don't believe the "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy belongs to the world of serious electronic music gear at that price level.

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Post by Hek » Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:03 am

OS update 1.11 looks great, and velocity is in the making.


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Post by Sureno » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:09 pm

Hey guys, first time post here, trying to do as much research I can about this synth, was going to buy but didn’t like the firmware it was on and at the time wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. BUT it continuously draws me back in, unfortunately I only demo’d it on cans so can’t quite suss out the sound fully. A little dismayed it doesn’t send out much midi (I believe they are holding back to release a stand alone sequencer later)

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Post by SombraGardens » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:51 pm

I have had the Medusa for about 2 months. I have to say it is a blast to use, I realize that the traditional western keyboard is not for me, the grid has been a revelation.

On to the wish list:

Arpeggiator would be outstanding.

:hihi: :love:
Thats all I got for now.

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Post by deltaphoenix » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:53 pm

I agree with SombraGardens. I picked one up for a decent price, and have had fun with the time I have spent with it. An arpeggiator would be lots of fun.

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Post by Sureno » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:28 pm

My experience so far has been “ok”, Iv been using it more as a synth than sequencer but know I should be using it in unison, as of the latest firmware I still feel it needs fine tuning before new features are added, for getting grooves and inspiration out of it, it’s great but getting the most out of it to stand out above another synth can be hard work even though the workflow is very intuitive and straight forward but I found myself running into a few quirks that took my attention away from laying the track down and trying to figure out work aroumds or switching on/off type issues etc. On a whole I need more time and possibly a couple more updates to really squeeze the most out of it in a real session. Must stress, this is just my experience

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