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Medusa custom scales - set microtonal pitch per pad
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Polyend Medusa custom scales - set microtonal pitch per pad

Hello,

I read that in the Polyend-Dreadbox Medusa synth, with a recent firmware update, we can customize the grid to play any pitch we want in each pad, including microtonal scales (i.e. finetuning the pitch to any frequency per pad and then play the synth like this).

Is this true? Can any medusa owner try it please?

If this is so, I was also wondering if these setups can be stored (within a preset for example) and whether the grid would also transmit these microtonal pitches externally (via midi note+pitchbend information), when the grid is used as a midi controller. All of this would be awesome. It is a shame it cannot load microtonal scales (like scala) but it is still nice if we can set up any pitch we want per pad, and if we can store these microtonal scales, or play them externally.

Also, if microtonal pitches are possible, can a custom-made microtonal scale be any number of notes, or does it have to repeat at the octave? Can it repeat at the octave if we want to (e.g. 5 microtonal gamelan-like pitches repeating at the octave)?

In a side note, can the grid now send velocity information to both the inbuilt synth as well as externally, and can the inbuilt synth engine now respond to velocity? I know it didn't originally and it is still not clear to me.

Thanks very much for your help.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
tjontheroad's Avatar
The way the Medusa works is you can basically create up to a mini "preset" per pad. It can be totally different from the next pad. So, you could potentially have a 64 note sequence with a totally new sound for each pad. You then can save that as the actual preset in storage. Programing 64 individual and different pad sounds would be PITA, but it is possible. In practical terms, it most used to create modulations via sequence. You could do micro-tuning I suppose by tuning the isolators for each pad. Never tried that. I don't think it'll transmit that data via MIDI.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjontheroad View Post
The way the Medusa works is you can basically create up to a mini "preset" per pad. It can be totally different from the next pad. So, you could potentially have a 64 note sequence with a totally new sound for each pad. You then can save that as the actual preset in storage. Programing 64 individual and different pad sounds would be PITA, but it is possible. In practical terms, it most used to create modulations via sequence. You could do micro-tuning I suppose by tuning the isolators for each pad. Never tried that. I don't think it'll transmit that data via MIDI.
Thanks tjontheroad.

I think there is a specific feature to microtune pitch per pad, here is the page where it descibes it:

"DIY scales. A new feature of the Medusa firmware adds the ability to store pitch in pads, and thus make custom scales. Turn GRID on, and REC, then with FINETUNE on, you can use the oscillator to tune a custom scale, including with microtuning. I’d love to see custom scale modes or Scala support, but this in the meantime has a beautiful analog feel to it."

https://cdm.link/2019/06/polyend-medusa-review/

Can anyone try this and see if it saves these custom layouts, and if it transmits the microtunings via midi?

Thanks again.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
tjontheroad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophilic View Post
Thanks tjontheroad.

I think there is a specific feature to microtune pitch per pad, here is the page where it descibes it:

"DIY scales. A new feature of the Medusa firmware adds the ability to store pitch in pads, and thus make custom scales. Turn GRID on, and REC, then with FINETUNE on, you can use the oscillator to tune a custom scale, including with microtuning. I’d love to see custom scale modes or Scala support, but this in the meantime has a beautiful analog feel to it."

https://cdm.link/2019/06/polyend-medusa-review/

Can anyone try this and see if it saves these custom layouts, and if it transmits the microtunings via midi?

Thanks again.
Thanks for the article. The “DIY scales”, as they called it, is as I described above. Each pad can save the setting of the oscillator finetune parameters. Thus creating a custom scale that you can perform or sequence with the pads. The finetune setting isn’t transmitted via MIDI pitch.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjontheroad View Post
Thanks for the article. The “DIY scales”, as they called it, is as I described above. Each pad can save the setting of the oscillator finetune parameters. Thus creating a custom scale that you can perform or sequence with the pads. The finetune setting isn’t transmitted via MIDI pitch.
Thank you, that's helpful. Not the answer I was hoping for, but helpful nonetheless

One follow up question: do you have to adjust the finetune parameters for ALL oscillators (including digital) to play them microtonally? I think I also read somewhere that, for this feature, one adjusts only the pitch of oscilator one (that is sounding) to whatever pitch we want, and that would become the reference pitch for all oscilators (effectively creating a new DIY scale in the grid). So, if I program a pad for A-11 cents for example, and if I play polyphonically, no matter what oscilator I am playing with that pad, it will always play at A-11 cents.

Do you know if this is the case?
Thanks again for your help.

P.S.: here is a video of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-RwgA57eqk

Maybe it only works for monophonic patches?
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
tjontheroad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophilic View Post
Thank you, that's helpful. Not the answer I was hoping for, but helpful nonetheless

One follow up question: do you have to adjust the finetune parameters for ALL oscillators (including digital) to play them microtonally? I think I also read somewhere that, for this feature, one adjusts only the pitch of oscilator one (that is sounding) to whatever pitch we want, and that would become the reference pitch for all oscilators (effectively creating a new DIY scale in the grid). So, if I program a pad for A-11 cents for example, and if I play polyphonically, no matter what oscilator I am playing with that pad, it will always play at A-11 cents.

Do you know if this is the case?
Thanks again for your help.

P.S.: here is a video of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-RwgA57eqk

Maybe it only works for monophonic patches?
Yes, you have to fine-tune all 6 oscillators to the same pitch per pad. There's no master fine tune per pad or globally otherwise. Each oscillator has it's own course and fine tuning. Note, the fine-tune parameter does not represent itself in terms of cents. The range is +/- a semi-tone in increments of +100 for a half step up down to -100 for a half step down. Zero (0) is centered pitch. So if you want to raise a note by a specific amount like +11 cents, you'll have fine-tune the first oscillator by ear or external tuner and then match the remaining 5 oscillators to that setting.
Old 4 days ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjontheroad View Post
Yes, you have to fine-tune all 6 oscillators to the same pitch per pad. There's no master fine tune per pad or globally otherwise. Each oscillator has it's own course and fine tuning. Note, the fine-tune parameter does not represent itself in terms of cents. The range is +/- a semi-tone in increments of +100 for a half step up down to -100 for a half step down. Zero (0) is centered pitch. So if you want to raise a note by a specific amount like +11 cents, you'll have fine-tune the first oscillator by ear or external tuner and then match the remaining 5 oscillators to that setting.
Gotcha. That settles it then, I understand now. Thank you again very much for your help. Have a great day.
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
tjontheroad's Avatar
FWIW, the Medusa is one the coolest synths I own. The grid/sequence stuff is as deep as it gets as long you’re willing to dive into it.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjontheroad View Post
FWIW, the Medusa is one the coolest synths I own. The grid/sequence stuff is as deep as it gets as long you’re willing to dive into it.
Yes, I know...that is why I was looking into it. I am looking for a polysynth, and it does sound great, but the one filter puts me off a bit. Let's see.
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