Polyend Medusa Updated With New 6-Voice FM Synth Engine….And Discontinued

Polyend has announced the discontinuation of the Medusa Hybrid Synth, but has also released a major firmware update for it that adds a 6-voice FM synth engine.

The company says that “Medusa has played a very special role in Polyend growth and maturing, and its maintenance and technical support will be continued.”

Here’s what’s new in Medusa v4.0 firmware:

  • Added a 6-voice 3-operator digital FM synth engine,
  • Reworked pitch bend and glide,
  • Better “Channel per Voice” mode,
  • Added MIDI Program Change,
  • LFO Synchronization with MIDI Clock,
  • Additional bug fixes.

Audio Demos:

The update is available now via the Polyend site.

28 thoughts on “Polyend Medusa Updated With New 6-Voice FM Synth Engine….And Discontinued

  1. The fact that they decided to have digital synth voices instead of digital effects, made this rly unintresting for me.

    Rly looking forward what polyend cooks up next tho!

    1. That is also the reason why i never purchased it, if it had some integrated effects it would have been a no brainer for me.

  2. Never really liked the layout of it as I would have preferred the pad to be on the right hand side and the knobs/sliders on the left. Maybe next time they’ll do a pad at the top or bottom instead so that it does not matter about the left/right handedness of the musician.

    1. This comes up from time to time and I have to say I can’t agree with people wanting to change the layout. I am not sure if you have a Medusa or tried one previously but I often find myself adjusting the pots or reaching for the menu options while my left hand is on a note. As I am right handed, I feel like it would be just awkward to do this the other way around. Honestly, the layout just works fine for me at least.

      1. Yes, I see this echoed, and find it very strange. Nearly every musical instrument requires two hands to operate, and lots of pad-based instruments have pads on the left.

    2. The Medusa’s layout follows a time-tested precedent, the MPC. Most MPCs have pads on the left, knobs on the right.

      The MPC 2000 flipped this and was also a hit, which goes to show that most people are not tweaking controls while they perform on pads.

      The Medusa is designed for grid sequencing and MPC style two-handed pad performance, vs Minimoog style performance with one hand playing notes and one tweaking them.

      You wouldn’t want the controls at the top – the machine would be too deep and you’d be leaning over every time you wanted to tweak something.

      1. there are more MPCs with the Q-Links on to the left of the pads than you think, and lots of people tweak this way while simultaneously triggering the pads with the right hand.



        not only their current flagship the MPC X which would undoubtedly have the best workflow don’t know why they did that awful layout for the Live models…

        here look at this photo almost all of them have the Q-links on the left side of the pads…. and for good reason.


  3. Nice to see an update, but I would prefer this at the first place:


    Ability to sequence GRID cells externally / each cell assigned to midi note / now it’s impossible and it’s really stupid

    Round Robin mode / Cycling through the oscillators like on Korg Mono/Poly, Moog Matriarch etc…

    Overdub mode for live recording (now if notes are played during real time recording they just replace notes in sequencer, would be nice to have an option to add them to create complex polyphonic things )

    Negative amount values on ENV

    Sequencer speed divisions ( like 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/8, 1/12 of the speed would be great )

    Ability to set seq start point the same way as we set end point now

    More mod destinations ( ENVs Atk, Dec, Sus, Rel parameters accessible for modulation as destinations, as well as OSCs waveform and octave parameters, it could bring even more “modular” experience )

    Faster LFOs in free and sync modes

    Free assignable ENV 4 (FIL) and 5 (AMP)

    Oscillators as modulation sources for even more modular experience, and maybe a kind of basic modulation matrix hidden in the menu

    More than that, I would tweak a bit ENV faders response to make them a bit smother for performance, maybe different curve… now they give such a response as they work not properly comparing to proper Roland SH fader experience for example…

    1. There is a round robin mode! Others can be achieved with some creativity…eg just slow the bpm down instead of changing step length, the whole sequencer can basically be used as a really powerful arp as the sequence can be transposed on the fly (Hold button), use synced lfo instead of envelope if you want a negative value etc etc.
      Yes there is always more that can be added but is one of the best featured synths at any price – can’t believe they have released another free update and people are still moaning!

        1. From the manual…(set voice priority to next in one of the P modes)
          For both P1 and P2 modes you can also toggle the Voice Priority between First and Next.
          With the First setting whatever note is played will grab the first available A OSC, D OSC or pair of
          OSCs. If you play monophonically in P1 or P2 (one note at a time), it will only use that first
          oscillator. With the Voice Priority set to Next, Medusa will rotate through the available
          oscillators, allowing longer releases to sound. These settings are accessed through the Config

  4. If they’re discontinuing it, it would be amazing if they would open-source the code so people can do their own updates and revisions.

    1. They should, as it would benefit them directly to allow the community to continue the development thus allowing Polyend to allocate resources to current and future products.

      This however seems to be a case of biting off more than either company manage. Dreadbox is a very small operation, Polyend is even smaller. It would appear that their collaboration has ended on a sour note.

        1. @ MrMidi, I should have noted that my statement was speculative with regards to the partnership souring. To that end however, this instrument was only recently unveiled, March of 2020 I believe, and for it to be discontinued in such a manner and considering the size of these respective outfits, it would only seem that something is amiss here.

          This had to be a significant investment for both entities and to abruptly cease production probably means more than a lack of sales.

          1. Well, not only you’re speculating, but your speculation is based on a release date that is off by almost two years. The Polyend & Dreadbox Medusa was unveiled in May 2018 at Superbooth and then started shipping around August of the same year, which makes an almost three year shelf-life, which is pretty standard for Dreadbox synths.

  5. bought mine the day it was discontinued 🙂 happy like never before, it’s true, very underrated device… to expand it to my fields i’m going to make tiny random midi clock generator with probability etc

  6. Wow…tough crowd here. Given the Medusa was initially supposed to be just an analog mono synth with a sequencer, it’s impressive to see where it’s gone since its original inception. Hats off to Polyend for digitally developing ideas that were never even on the table back before the synth was released. Could the rollout have gone better? Yeah, probably, but despite that I’m pretty damn impressed with how they’ve kept expanding the feature set since then. Looking forward to updating mine. Cheers!

  7. It’s an amazing and unique synth. A shame to let it slide into oblivion. But discontinued does not mean the end. I’m still a proud owner of many discontinued synths (Virus C, JP-8000, Clavia Nord, the list goes on!)… something tells me that one day we’ll see this baby in the hall of fame. Meanwhile, here’s my little tribute with an in-depth review : https://hcdi.gs/Medusa

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