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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51 Visitor comments
fro jam
September 22, 2011 @ 9:43 am
i've had my beloved MG1 since '84. my very 1st synth. i opted the Realistc over the very popular pocket casio that was out. did not realize that it was an actual Moog til decades later. now, i am a proud owner of a 77 model D and gig & record w her weekly. i haven't had the 2 synths side by side in eons. hmmm... i might have some cleaning & tuning to do.
August 18, 2011 @ 11:37 am
The least expensive Moog, but capable of some great sounds! One of my favorite features that isn't found on other synths: you can set the LFO's wave shape to random, for R2D2 noises.
June 7, 2011 @ 5:32 pm
I have owned one for 2 years and am still getting new sounds out of it!
I would also like to mention that it is not CV Gate really but CV/ trig.
That is it triggers the envelope by shorting. You can kind of convince it to respond to gate, but it is less than reliable and the timing is a bit off.
The polyphony sounds very nice actually and I would miss it if it were gone. It can be brought up under your one or two osc patch to give a subtle detuned fatness. By itself it sounds very nice in a proggy kind of way if you get the filter and LFO settings just right. Wish it had more keys!
May 15, 2011 @ 12:19 am
HIGHLY under rated synth. I'm sad that VSE lists it as a 2 star.

But why does every site I read say that this thing has 10 voice polyphony?

I have one of these and it clearly has FULL polyphony. As many keys as you can hold down is the polyphony.
All I can think of is cuz we have 10 fingers....but of a polydactyl person did the review it'd all of a sudden have 12 voices ;)

But in reality the MG-1 has 32 voice polyphony (the number of keys it has)
May 6, 2011 @ 2:45 am
i own this and love that this has 10 voice polyphony for a moog/realistic. it is feature-ful for ur buck. the mixer is so much fun.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.03 (497 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 (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

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

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