Korg M500 Micro-Preset

Korg M500 Micro-Preset Image

The Korg Micro Preset synthesizer is a curious late 1970s beast with a slightly bizarre matrix of pre-set sounds, including laughable woodwind and similar noises and a low-quality keyboard all housed in a wooden box! It's a 32-note monophonic preset synthesizer with 6 push-button presets including voice, synth1, synth2, brass, string, and wood. Its single-oscillator design has only rudimentary decay/release envelope controls and no access to the guts of the sound generation stuff. Perhaps it was aimed at the beginners market.

Once you're over the outward appearance, a bit of probing will reveal a noise box that sounds remarkably similar to the MS-10 at times. There is a lot of fun to be had with the 'traveller' control, a sort of filter and resonance control rolled into one, offering interesting squelchy acid-style bass run effects. In fact, like the MS-10, bass is about all you'll get out of this oddity in terms of useful noises. But overall this is a bit of a novelty synth, and is not especially playable nor distinctive - apart from its looks! There are absolutely no MIDI, CV nor similar inputs so you can forget about any of that. Add N To (X), The Human League, OMD, Jean Michel Jarre, OMD, Pop Will Eat Itself and Brian Eno are thought to have used the Micro Preset.

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39 Visitor comments
JACOB
June 11, 2009 @ 1:45 am
THIS SYNTH WAS USED IN ELECTRICITY OMD SONG ( WHITE NOIZE ) I HAVE THE M - 500 AMAZING,,,,,
planetplayer
January 13, 2009 @ 1:17 am
I tried this in early 1980's and it is nice.
Dieter Affenschwantz
December 29, 2008 @ 8:39 am
I believe The Chinese Restaurant use a Korg Micro Preset.
Solderman
December 28, 2008 @ 12:46 am
According to Tim Stinchcombe at http://www.timstinchcombe.co.uk/synth/korg.html , the M-500 uses the same Korg35 filter in MS-10's and early MS-20's, which would explain the similar bass sounds.
coolout
December 17, 2008 @ 11:48 pm
I've own this one for years. It's the only true analog I have. The review is right it does sound a lot like the ms-10 (judging by the virtual version put out by korg.) I would use it a lot more if it would just hold it's tuning. I don't want to pay for a repair because I only bought it for $75.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 6 Sounds: voice, synth1, synth2, brass, string, and wood
  • LFO - Vibrato with depth and speed
  • Filter - 'Traveller' control - filter and resonance slider
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 32 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1977 - 1980
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Korg product brochure.

    Information provided by Chris Stone and Tatu J. Lund.

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