OLSZTYN, POLAND: famed for bringing new technologies to creative musicians by building innovative and unique musical instruments, Polyend is proud to announce availability of its aptly- named Limited Edition Black Medusa — a (literally) limited-edition of the Medusa hybrid synthesizer jointly released to widespread critical acclaim in 2018 but bettered by a minimalistic front panel facelift and major firmware update at a reduced price — as of May 1…
As acknowledged by the tasteful Dreadbox & Polyend Hybrid Synthesizer ‘subtitle’ set across the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s matt black anodised aluminium front panel — perfectly matching all previous Polyend products — as part of a minimalistic graphic layout letting the Polish company’s distinctive design aesthetics mature, Medusa was originally developed in close collaboration with Greek boutique analogue synthesizers and effects manufacturer Dreadbox as a symbiosis of classic synthesis characteristics and a unique digital controller. Creatively including six oscillators — three (voltage-controlled) Analog and three Digital (with Wave Table) option — and a multimode analogue FILTER with L2 (2-pole low-pass), L4 (four-pole low-pass), and HP (one-pole high-pass) settings (based on Dreadbox’s Erebus duophonic analogue synthesizer) alongside a 64-step sequencer (inheriting the DNA of Polyend’s Seq) and an 8 x 8 grid of pressure-sensitive pads to play the synthesizer and program the sequencer was — and remains — a beautiful combination.
Changes to the Limited Edition Black Medusa extend beyond its clear-cut looks, however. Indeed, it also benefits from a major (v3.0) firmware update — also available to owners of the original Medusa for direct download (https://polyend.com/medusa_downloads/) — with the following additions: LFO random Wave (selectable via the last position); MIDI Local Off (as a MIDI configuration option) — allows Medusa’s MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) pads to be used to play an external instrument while simultaneously playing its internal synth engine using an external controller; and updated LFO(s) and ENVELOPE(s) — able to send out their native values as CC (Control Change) messages, so all synth parameters are now displayed with the assigned CC number. Note that the v3.0 firmware update also includes additional presets by Kenny Rakentine — a.k.a. Angel Dust, an abstract sound/art/drone/noise project from Pittsburgh, PA, USA — as an added bonus.
Creative collaborations and combinations continue to come into play; Polyend is teaming up with Expressive E to offer the French next-generation musical instruments manufacturer’s upcoming Carbon virtual synthesizer — soon set to become part of its MPE Collection, combining banks of exclusive sounds into a versatile suite, ready to play with any MPE-supporting instrument — to owners of the Limited Edition Black Medusa and the original Medusa for free via a download weblink on the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/) when available.
But better still, would-be owners of the original Medusa should surely be tempted by the Limited Edition Black Medusa’s pocket-friendlier price of €699 EUR/$799 USD — all the more so as an even more potent proposition when bundled with Poly 2 (https://polyend.com/poly2-midi-to-cv-converter/), Polyend’s polyphonic MIDI-to-CV Eurorack module boasting a multitude of connectivity options to play nicely with all manner of sequencers, DAWs, keyboards, apps, and more!
The Limited Edition Black Medusa comes complete with an alternative set of coloured knobs (with which users can optionally replace the standard black ones as an added visual aid), and is available to purchase through Polyend’s growing global network of authorised dealers (https://polyend.com/where-to-buy/) at an MSRP of €699 EUR/$799 USD. Or order online directly from Polyend itself via the dedicated webpage (https://polyend.com/medusa/), which also includes more in-depth information.
Arturia are set to release a limited number of “Black Edition” KeyStep, BeatStep, and BeatStep Pro sequencer-controllers.
Known and loved throughout the industry, Arturia’s trio of DAW controlling, step-sequencing hybrids are now available in a sleek black finish. Offering something for every musician, the Step range synchronizes the analog and digital worlds, letting musicians control hardware instruments, outboard modules, virtual instruments, and reco
Each of the new Black Edition models comes complete with CV cables, giving you immediate access to the sequencer’s hardware control functionality.
rding software simultaneously.
Arturia KeyStep Black Edition – 149 US$ / 119 €
This small format keyboard sequencer features a 32-note slim-key keybed with aftertouch, and lets you sync with & control any software or hardware instrument through its comprehensive connectivity, including USB, MIDI in & out, CV gate, and Sync in & out. Create evolving, polyphonic sequences up to 64 steps long, with real-time recording and rewriting.
Arturia BeatStep Pro Black Edition – 299 US$ / 249 €
Arturia’s cutting edge, 3-part step sequencer now has a sleek new look. Featuring two separate melodic sequencers and a dedicated 16-track drum sequencer, BeatStep Pro gives the adventurous musician a powerful palette of tools to create dynamic, exciting tracks without the need for a computer screen.
Arturia BeatStep Black Edition – 129 US$ / 99 €
Packing 16 pressure and velocity sensitive pads and 16 rotary knobs into a neat package, BeatStep is an affordable way for musicians to get creative with simple monophonic step-sequences. Able to control outboard synths and virtual instruments alike, BeatStep’s versatility also makes it a great DAW controller.
The Black Edition KeyStep, BeatStep, and BeatStep Pro will begin shipping worldwide at the end of April 2017.