Review: MEDUSA by PolyEnd and Dreadbox: It’s all about the GRID

Medusa is an innovative new synth, the result of a collaboration between Dreadbox and PolyEnd. The core of what’s new with Medusa is the GRID – a multi mode expressive interface that can be used as an instrument, a sequencer, a modulator, or any combination of the above.

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Here’s a clip timeline:

0:00 Intro
0:55 Overview
2:20 Grid hardware
3:00 Note mode
5:00 XYZ control
5:55 Grid mode
7:15 Param mods
7:45 Pad presets
8:40 Mod presets
9:55 Mod sequences
10:20 Oscillators
11:00 Analog vs digital
13:15 PWM, FM & sync
14:15 Wavetables
16:30 Filter modes
18:30 Envs & LFOs
22:40 Polyphony?
24:35 Connectivity
25:00 Pros & cons

NOTE: Occasionally I’ll try out affiliate marketing and include affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via affiliate links. The content of this clip is entirely my opinion, and was not paid for or dictated in any what by the company creating the gear. Without addressing the particulars of products shown here as they might be under NDA, gear shown on this channel may be either sent by the manufacturer, on loan for review or bought at a discount.

Comments

Grzegorz Kuźma says:

Finally a well-done review! I don’t want to listen anymore strange stories from engineers at Superbooth18 from both companies or some weird patches with ridiculous sequences. Keep it up, Mr.Loopop !

Joseph Wright says:

It is very cool that the two companies collaborated on this.

Rin Kobamoto says:

is still the case that you can send 5 lfos to 5 different targets or all 5 to the same target or however you want like polyend stated in the sonic state superbooth video at the 4:03 clock mark… I got the impression how you described it that it might be different? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLa3QLEAq08

AgentBob MindNova says:

One of the best Medusa vids so far. Thank you.

Mikkel Carlsen says:

Aww i was so hoping that it was possible to sequence each osc on its own like with a commodore 64 with tracker software. As it has the parameter lock like a tracker software so it would have been possible to do chiptune style music on it all day long … but now with just one sequencer track it does not really work well as a stand alone box. …So sad as the pads and pad layout seem awesome for this stuff.

Scott Sharon says:

Wow. Judging by how many views you’ve received, this thing is going to be a hit. My only question is how many octaves do the oscillators cover?

PROJACKED says:

wow, I’m quite mindblown with this functionality especially the tone-grid.
And you’re a great reviewer, technical straight and forward, with a dash of humor.

skyreader society says:

is the synth as beefy as the other, previous dreadbox machines?

Made In Machines says:

Seems a really exciting concept. Does it have a live panel mode so you can press a button and the sound reflects all of the knob positions? Shouldn’t the pads be on the right hand side so you don’t have to play with your left hand? Right hand for playing – left hand for tweaking.

Doctor Steve says:

once again, you made the perfect introductory video to a new piece of gear. I preordered one at Sweetwater after watching this. Thank you and see you at Moogfest next year! 🙂

VJ FRANZ K says:

I liked the drum synth part. Would it be possible to have some OSC continue with synth notes while others produced drums? ( as with Analog Four, for example. )

chef raf says:

22.01 the behringer neutron has similar lfo wave shaping

MoolahNasreddin says:

Definitely need to have few digital S&H generators.

Christopher Wilde says:

Loopop, I notice that at 10:42 there is an oscilloscope and freq. spectrum superimposed in the video… How/where did that come from? I am curious, ever since I saw it I wanna see the waves my korg ms-20 mini is making! xD Thanks. Hey and love your videos, I learn so much about the product here (I sooo wan’t one of these Medusa synths!)

Plonkuss says:

Hi just a general question are there any grid based midi controllers that can do the scale thing and run stand alone? I really like the Medusa but it’s out of my price but excited about the way the grid is used.

Rin Kobamoto says:

last Q is it possible to copy a sound on a particular step from one patch to a particular step located in another patch?

MINDSCRIPTABLE says:

great overview! which scope are you running on software side btw? 🙂

Elmo Sexwhistle says:

Hi 🙂 do you know what Midi data gets sent out of the machine through the “out” jack?

Is it note and velocity, or can you use this to sequence CC’s?

Thanks for the video.

Nagash Sagan says:

maybe I’m just dumb but… does it work without a cumputer?? the little composite screen confused me

Elias M says:

Very good video! Thanks! What brand are the 2 little monitors infront of the MEDUSA?

Sleezy Geezy69 says:

At 8:50 you started talking about parameter modifications. You used the top left pad as the pitch then used the other pads to modify it. Do the pads still modify the pitch if it was played on a midi keyboard?

Chase Wood says:

It’s $990. You could buy a minilogue and a circuit for that much. Or, shell out another $300 and get a Peak or rev2. Awkward price point in my opinion. This would be a must buy at $800. This thing is frickin cool though.

DWCastillo says:

Can the Medusa receive start/stop and clock from external devices? I cannot seem to find a definitive answer on the internet. The manual seems to avoid the subject…

VJ FRANZ K says:

Nice nearly isometric view. ; – ) And good explanation of what the Grid actually does. I wonder – does it sound TOO clean?

Martin Stürtzer says:

What a beast! Also an excellent walkthrough of the synth, thanks!

Gossamyr Thorne says:

On preset knob position want of other companies using it:
Korg has used something like this (electribes,ms2000,radias) called ‘original value’, also found on the emu command stations as a red led that lit when the knob was in, yeah, original position. DSI and Novation have used the display to show both current and original values(tetra, mophox4, peak, BSII, etc), yamaha an1x(19 bloody 97) had a combo push button/knob for each synth parameter that when pressed shows, you guessed it, original value. This product is priced at silly millenial op1 buyers, I mean, cough, I have no interest in the product due to its inherent capped and fixed limitations regardless how awesome and in depth the review was. A car bolted to the parking lot might look as cool as ‘yeah’ but it won’t ever go anywhere new, ever…

Haut Strange says:

This is such an innovative device. I’m gonna have to get one now thanks.

Adamski A. says:

Im sure the Medusa has taken yoga lesson. It just seems so so flexible. Well done to the engineers on this one . Fantastic !!!!

Musto CARNERO says:

@7:30 It’s like the step edit on the korg E2!! Love this concept

ProckGnosis says:

Each “program” in the Medusa is a collection of 1) patch data (for the overall sound) and 2) sequencer/grid data. If you wanted, you could create a program with nothing but grid data (or patch modifying data as the manual calls it), and 64 “little patches” in one program. And you can have up to 128 programs. That gives you basically 8,192 patches (64 grid patches x 128 programs) you can store in the Medusa if you wanted to work it that way.

Weird Music says:

Huiieye

This is meduza

bonneman66 says:

What is the occasional oscilloscope looking screen that appears for a few split seconds from time to time? no CV / Gate connectivity?

ihopeshe hasspaghetti says:

Tf all these words mean and how does one even learn

Cori BLANCH says:

Another great video! Are you planning on giving use your thoughts/review on the Touchè? Especially how you would use it for monophonic euro racks!

Doctor Steve says:

Then I saw RMR do one of the Deluge…so…if you had the choice between a Synthstrom Deluge or a Dreadbox/Polyend Medusa…which would you go for? My concern is the manufacturer of the Deluge is on the other side of the world and I have no idea if I could ever get it repaired if I had a problem. On the other hand it seems to do a lot for the money. On the other hand, the Medusa has that insane Polyend grid with x-y-z responsiveness and those 6 oscillators/LFOS/envelopes. WHAT TO DO!?

Never mind, I’ll just end up getting both eventually. I’m insane.

OK I just rewatched how Grid mode works. i have to have the Medusa. Thanks! 🙂

Juice Patrol says:

If this had a modular breakout for the mod matrix it would be one of the most powerful synth groovebox on the market methinks.

CJ K-28 says:

Great presentation you’ve made here 🙂 Excellent layout and functions, but the filter doesn’t sound like other Dreadbox products to me. Is that just a question of a calibrating the circuits from factory, or totally different design?

Austin Brubaker says:

You are one of the best reviewers I’ve ever seen. Scratch that, probably the best. Subjective, I know – My point is really to encourage you to keep inspiring and educating us pleebs.

Lee Peha says:

Hey loopop this is an awesome video. Coming from the circuit monostation how is editing presets while they are sequenced on the grid? Can you manipulate one preset while the others play through the sequence? Does one parameter control edit all the presets as you play through the sequence? Thanks!

Secede em 4 Freedom says:

Too good to be true? $1200… I will cry myself to sleep now.

Christo Roppolo says:

Experience is the best teacher. That’s why the Medusa is going back tomorrow. Horrific to use sounds like a Casio home keyboard . Editing feedback is unreadable setting parameters is confusing and. Easy to adjust the wrong parameter cause it’s like setting an old flip phone to navigate. Really a shame. Double taps on some buttons shift commands hold this double tap that none sense. Presets are horrific. Great idea to bad it realizes on tiny windows and one data dial. The eribus v3 will kill this thing.peace Christo

Metabeard says:

This thing is amazing. The only thing I wish it could do is maybe be able to create independent sequences to control each oscillator independently from each other. Maybe that could be added in a firmware update or something. It’s incredible regardless and it’s definitely high on my wishlist!.

Rin Kobamoto says:

so there is no way to play those 64 different sounds on each pad as a singular patch?…is there a way to ‘Lock’ a pad sound and use the grid in some kind of keyboard mode to play that one sound across the whole grid?

house machine says:

Love this synth definitely on my wish list. So many options today!!!

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