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
Pete
August 12, 2013 @ 2:54 am
Nice and simple mono-synth. I like it = 3,5/5
Subcultural Hero
August 9, 2013 @ 7:17 pm
Quit Your Dayjob use one of these - and is sounds [beep] ing awesome!
g o l f w a n g
June 1, 2013 @ 7:49 am
OMD used it twice lol.
coolout
April 24, 2013 @ 11:29 am
I love my m500, but it won't stay on pitch. You have to wiggle the selector knob to get it stable. Any suggestions on a repair shop in the US?
Topher
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!
 
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Rated 3.79 (326 Votes)

  • 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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