Realistic Concertmate MG-1

Realistic Concertmate MG-1 Image

This is the very source of cheap Moog bass! It is a lot like the strap-on Moog Liberation in its design and architecture and also looks and sounds very much like the Moog Rogue. The MG-1 was built by Moog for Realistic (Radio Shack), and was designed specifically for the home market. Very basic and easy to use, this is a nice cheap way to get your hands on Moog sounds!

The MG-1 is a 2-VCO monophonic/polyphonic analog synth with a genuine 24dB/oct Moog filter, however the overall sound is thin. On the MG-1, the VCOs are referred to as 'Tone Generators'. It can produce sawtooth, square and pulse waveforms, and the oscillators are detunable and syncable. A simple ASR (attack, sustain, release) envelope called 'Contour' can be applied to both the amp and the filter. The LFO section provides triangle or square wave patterns as well as Sample-and-Hold. Additionally there is a simple Ring-Mod effect called 'Bell'.

Realistic Concertmate MG-1 Image

Unique to the MG-1 is a slider on the far right side of the keyboard which controls the volume of a simple divide-down polyphonic organ sound. This feature makes it at least a little more versatile than the Rogue. There are RCA inputs and outputs (the input is routed straight to the output for playing along with music from your stereo system) but no external speakers as in most other home marketed synthesizers. There is also no sign of Midi or patch memory on the MG-1. It is used by Peter Gabriel, 808 State, Remy Shand, and KMFDM.

Here is a table highlighting some of the differences pointed out by a user between the MG-1 and Rogue.

Realistic Concertmate MG-1 Moog Rogue
Sliders for modulation Switches for modulation
Divide-down polyphonic organ --
No Pitch/MOD wheels Independant Pitch/MOD wheels
Keyboard tracking switches Keyboard tracking knob
Independent waveform selection and pitch --
Ring modulator effect --
Osc sync on/off Osc sync contour
Keyboard response is slower --

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50 Visitor comments
October 1, 2009 @ 11:10 pm
Gene Ween said he used this synth in a "mollusk era" interview.
September 3, 2009 @ 8:20 pm
This synth is extremely underrated. Some people hate on this synth, pretend it's not a Moog. Here's my advice; plug it in, sit back and watch your speakers explode from the pure analog bass goodness that the MG-1 delivers.
August 16, 2009 @ 9:48 pm
I've owned this as well as the Moog Rogue, and I have to say the MG-1 is the far better of the two simply because of the built-in polyphonic organ, you also get one extra waveform in the VCO. If you're contemplating one or the other, I'd go with the MG-1.
April 15, 2009 @ 9:44 pm
My first real exposure to synths was this beast. I used to hang out at the Radio Shack next door to the supermarket while mom shopped. Probably drove the sales staff nuts! I've wanted one for years. I just picked one up of the bay, I am very happy! It takes a bit of getting used to withthen funny names and switches where you would expect knobs in some places. (like sustain?) The sound is huge though, it blows my "moogslayer" Korg poly 800 out of the door.
January 13, 2009 @ 2:18 am
I have dreamed about owning this since I saw it in A radio schack catalogue. I played it in about 1999 or 1999. The quality was rusted a bit and damaged. They were asking $500 which is $5 or $105 more than list if I remember. It sounds good, but for that price I could put on a memorymoog. Sounds on the MG-1 are spacey and bell type. The one I played was a bit noisy compared to other MOOGs.
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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 (plus fully polyphonic (divide-down) organ sound)
  • Oscillators - 2 VCO's; TG1: sawtooth and square; TG2: sawtooth and pulse waveforms; Noise source
  • Memory - NONE
  • Filter - 1 24dB/oct lowpass w/ cutoff, emphasis, env amount
  • VCA - ASR
  • Keyboard - 32 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - CV / GATE
  • Date Produced - 1981
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Perfect Circuit Audio.

    Thanks to Eric White and C. A. Polk for providing information.

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