Dreadbox Medusa

Theres a Medusa for sale at my local shop that has this same problem, been thinking about picking it up regardless but I’d like to hear if its been much of a problem for you since you’ve learned about the grounding fix.

wow I’ve never experienced that on any gear ever!..

It happened twice. But I don’t use it a lot anymore.

Hi everyone,

I see the Medusas are going pretty cheap and I’m very intrigued by this synth, it seems like the kind of synth that allows for. lot of creativity but I can’t assess the sound of it just looking at youtube videos…
any opinions from people using it on a regular basis ?


I am not an expert, just my two cents about a few things I like, or dislike…

Even though it is Dreadbox involved (who did the OSC), It does not offer much bass, compared to Moog for example, but I got other gear that fills out this gap.

Currently I am using the Medusa in FM mode (5 or 6 different algorithms) all the time, which makes it a new synth actually. Love how it sounds and what I can achieve with it. Got mine for many years and do not feel like selling it.

Not using the pads on Medusa, which bothers me a bit, cause they are nice and they offer great modulation options on a per step base, but I would need to place it somewhere else. for that… We will see…

Love that you can choose a separate midi channel for each OSC and 5 LFO is not bad as well. You may also choose to cycle (with every midi note it gets) through the OSCs and you can also trigger each OSC separately with its own midi channel.

Too bad the Medusa is mono though, since you can create nice pads and chords as well, but it’s never been a dealbreaker for me.

Really love mine very much, hope that helped a bit :wink:

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It is almost too flexible at times but, it is a favorite of mine for that reason. It is probably the most self-indulgent sound machine that I own.

The overall sound is amazing and flexible but I wouldn’t describe it as a “garden sweet spots” if you are looking for bread and butter/vintage sounds.

The grid is less than intuitive at first but allows for a lot of exploration that my other synths do not. This is where it really tickles my fancy. It is a really open-ended device.

It is my default starting point for any non-song oriented sound design projects/meditations at this point and I use it for textural/rhythmic elements in song writing… usually paired with Typhon to set textures and groove to build from.

I can find an excuse to include it within any project honestly and will play with it stand-alone for good old fashion fun! for hours on end. Planning on trying NDLR + Medusa experiment with the channel per voice options a bit this weekend.

I did have to pick up an external clock divider to really get it to play nicely with other gear as I found that running it at master tempo was preventing me from achieving the sounds/textures I wanted out of it… 1/2 clock fixed all of that for me… 1/7 clock is a scary place that I am not ready to explore alone etc.

I’d suggest trying to get some demo time with one to see how the sound hits you… I wasn’t impressed by demo videos but, the first time I played with it I fell in love.

Same here would like a Dreadbox Nymphs.

very interesting features I didn’t know about !

Since I’m looking for exploration and not planning on making lots of basses with it your advice fits great with my plans :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot

Thanks for the answer !

I think you’ve sold me on at least trying it and I’m sure I’m going to love it for the same reasons you do !


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Honestly there’s no reason to worry for neglecting these pads, they couldn’t be worse. They suck even compared to Akai Force pads, which are meh compared to modern Launchpad pads. Zero nuance in velocity and aftertouch, since you have to hit them with a hammer.

I really wish Medusa had at least half-decent pads, but Polyend really shot themselves in the knee in this case.

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Yeah, important point, sorry! Thanks for clarification!

For my personal needs they were good enough to program some nice sequences, but you are right about velocity and aftertouch, now I remember. If that’s something people find important they should definitely consider this. I am using it with my KeyStep Pro, OXI and T-1, so I am pretty happy.

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I made a few ambient tracks (on my Bandcamp) using my Medusa, and have loved it for couch design. It’s a little too big to be “lappable”, which is how I do most of my work — a single instrument or two on my writing desk with a four-track.

Anyway, the pads were good for that because there’s a hold function. Very easy to get pad sounds out of it that way. Like others, I am not in love with their playability, though.

The sequencer is nuts. I don’t really know how to use it, but I did make some happy (unrecorded) accidents messing with it.

I paid more than they seem to be going for now. At the kind of prices I’ve seen on Reverb, I don’t think you can go wrong.

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The pads aren’t great. I also find using the grid quite unpredictable. I’ve never really gotten a great feel for the workflow out of it. I was toying with replacing the Medusa with an Analog Four.

However recently have started using the Medusa with the Syntakt. That’s given me some cool ideas: I do want to play with having the Medusa sequencer and the Syntakt sequencer run together and see what odd interactions I can get out of it. Perhaps having all or most of the note sequencing on the Syntakt and the parameters on the Medusa so they can flow in and out of sync independently.

The Medusa is a great synth, but almost does too much. It’s hard not to throw every idea into a patch and overdo it


Anyone else using the Medusa and the Syntakt together? In a way, both have a lot in common. In another way, they are completely unlike each other. I still don’t know whether I want to have both or make a choice.

I don’t own the Syntakt but I made one track or two with a Medusa and a Digitone. I know the Digitone it not the same thing that Syntakt but they have in common snappy enveloppes, multitimbrality with a lot of tracks. Meanwhile, the Medusa can’t do proper drum sounds but has way more possibility in term of sound design (especially with many many modulations) with a kind of gritty, raw sound (and it’s monophonic). I think the Medusa is pretty unique with its features, especially in p2 mode with different settings by oscillators and next voice priority, that can creates some weird but beautiful leads with a kind of beautiful chaotic sound.

So I think you can keep both Syntakt and Medusa. Syntakt because you have 12 tracks, very efficient in drums (but not only) and Medusa because you have an unique synth with a lot of weirdness that can’t be achieved on other machine (and a DFM mode, very lofi but good sounding for me :slight_smile: ).
This is just my opinion, I own Medusa for one year and half, and Elektron devices for 4 years now (OT, 2 DN, M:C)


Ive been in the market for a Dreadbox voice for my small music therapy setup for a while now.
Something thats easy to have fun with. So naturally im super into Typhon. As time went by i opened up to notion that grid controllers would work better for me than a keyboard. It just makes more sense to have a shapable grid than a rigid keyboard, for music that i like. Launchpad pro seems perfect for that, custom modes and all. And then it clicked - Medusa.

Ive been skimming around internet and manual, and i cant find much information about using it as a midi controller for other devices, so i have some questions for Medusa users:

  • Is there a midi mode of sorts, or do you have to mute internal synth if you want to use it as a controller while its audio is connected to a setup?
  • Would i find changing midi channel cumbersome if i do it often? Are there any shift combos to flip between channels instead of menu diving?

I understand that being a midi controller is not its first thing ofcourse, but its also hard to find specifics like that because of sheer amount of updates and development done :aw:

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Hi! A couple months ago I randomly experimented with the Medusa as MIDI controller just because I was curious. I didn’t have a plan, didn’t have goal, and I can’t remember exactly what I did or how far I went. I’m still interested in exploring. If nobody answers to you before, I’ll give a shot to your interesting questions this evening.

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One thing about using it as a controller to consider first of all: its pads suck. They really do.

The Launchpad X/Pro pads are infinitely better. Yes, they don’t have XY-expression, but they have velocity and aftertouch that actually work. I bought the Medusa expecting to use it as a controller, and I was shocked by how bad the pads were. Can’t call them usable at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this synth and will never part with it. It’s just that Polyend and Dreadbox cheaped out on the pads.


You can turn off local control, but the pads are hard and not comfortable for extended playing. In fact, I’d hack off the entire grid I could figure out how to replace it with a few knobs for parameters.

Changing the MIDI channel regularly is a bit of a pain since it’s hidden beneath menus.

I basically use my Medusa as a sound module with my LPMKK3 as my main controller.


my disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined :fried_shrimp:

thanks for the heads up about pad quality, i wasnt worried about it that much because i assumed that for that price you get something good. interface feel is quite important to me.

thats good to know :+1: