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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40 Visitor comments
February 17, 2011 @ 1:28 pm
It is used on the "River of [beep] " EP by The Chinese Restaurants.
September 19, 2010 @ 11:18 pm
A couple things not mentioned are that you can push down multiple buttons and mix sounds, and also that the glide switch can be set to off, on, or momentarily on which is a great effect. Also according to the synth britannia it was OMD's first synth.
June 27, 2010 @ 10:29 am
Roland's SH-2000, ARP Pro-Soloist, Moog Satellite and Korg Micro-Preset are all very similar. Most of the presets sound nothing instruments they intend to represent. But they are pure analog synth, sound great and have one major advantage: the presets. You don't have to turn a bunch of knobs or patch anything to get to a new sound. Just hit a button. Granted the M-500 is on of the most limited of these preset synths but it weighs alt less and is smaller. A fun keyboard.
January 3, 2010 @ 7:20 am
This cute synth is fun to toy around with, and you can get some decent basslines out of it.
But it is especially cool when hooked up with a vocoder.
December 16, 2009 @ 7:04 am
you can retrofit CV control, no need to forget about it. can be seen in the video for Portishead's "Chase the Tear".
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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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