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
March 24, 2013 @ 10:58 pm
I've had a Micro-Preset for nearly 20 years now and got one purely for the relationship between this synth and OMD. It's been said here already but it was Paul and Andy's first synth and they toured with this synth extensively. It is limited admittedly but OMD used it to it's full potential and produced the white noise for "Electricity", the lead for "Enola Gay" live and most famously the arpeggio intro to "Messages". Stick to the synthe presets on it and you got some great sounds at a bargain price. 3 stars for features but 5 stars for bang for your buck!
Analogue Crazy
February 15, 2013 @ 4:39 am
Just got myself a beautiful example of this lovely little synth, sure its limited but it's tone is gorgeous. Every time i play it melodies effortlessly flow from my hand, certainly one of the nicest sounding preset synths. Love the Brass preset and mixing Synth 2 with String gives some tremendous lead sounds. A keeper and a real charmer.
February 11, 2013 @ 4:52 pm
The M500sp was my 1st synthesizer way back in 1980,, its a good little synth , reliable , old and ANALOGUE, as with so many monosynths can sound great with effects its all over OMITD debut album.
tim lloydsmith
January 25, 2013 @ 2:47 pm
Sure it's limited but mix the presets up, do a little dance on the performance controls & this little chipboard box becomes an expressive instrument bellowing out wonderful sonorous mournful timbres. If it was crap would Eno have bothered with it?

Time for a new VSE review & reviewer - one star is just plain WRONG.
Alex R.
January 20, 2013 @ 12:53 pm
There are some decent reviews on VSE, but this one doesn't do it justice at all. Beautiful MS10 sounds for half the price, and a beautiful sounding synth.
VSE Rating

Don’t bother

User Rating

Rated 3.8 (334 Votes)

  • 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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