Realistic Concertmate MG-1
Realistic Concertmate MG-1

Concertmate MG-1, Analog Synth from Realistic.

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All user reviews for the Realistic Concertmate MG-1

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Average Score:4.6( 4.6/5 based on 6 reviews )
 3 reviews50 %
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Mark Kleback03/03/2009

Mark Kleback's review

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
The Realistic MG-1 has become a novelty lately. With all the digital synths out there, this is a nice, albeit noisy, analog alternative.

The MG-1 has a built-in mixer with two user-adjustable tones, a grating polyphony, noise, and a "bell tone" which is a sort of ring modulation. The tones and polyphony are tuned separately, and there is a detune feature for the separate tone sources.

Each tone has three octave ranges, selectable by switching. The keyboard itself is an octave and a half. Each tone can also be switched between square and sawtooth waves. There is also a sync feature, which puts the tones out of phase.

There is a filter, with faders controlling the cutoff frequency and resonance. There is also an oscillator for both the filter and the amplitude, controlled by a fader. The oscillation rate is also controlled by a blinking LED on a fader.

Each oscillation can be set to either a sine wave, square wave, or random generation of tones. Each of the oscillation settings only apply to the tone sources, however, and not the polyphony.

There is a contour section as well, with an adjustable rise and fall time. The synthesizer can be set to keyed (only playing when a key is pressed), contoured (following the rise and fall times), or continuous (constant). The sustain can also be adjusted to hold or decay when a key is held down.

There is a 1/4" headphone output, which can also be used with an instrument cable. There is RCA tape in, as well as RCA outputs. I found it much easier to use the 1/4" as the output, despite it being on the front of the instrument.

There are also 1/4" pitch and trigger inputs, though I have not experimented with these.


There is a pretty big learning curve on the MG-1. Buying this second-hand, I did not receive a manual and had to learn on my own about most of the instrument. There are an infinite number of sounds that can be produced, since this is an analog instrument, and it is very versatile when one learns how to use it.

Without a tutorial, this is a pretty intimidating instrument. Since it is analog, and pretty old, the tones still tend to bend out of tune quite frequently, even after cleaning and repair. The tuning varies with temperature and humidity, and frequent tuning is necessary.


The most basic tones on the MG-1 are reminiscent of an 8-bit Nintendo. The polyphony is a grating sawtooth, and is not user adjustable. However, the tone sources are very versatile, and I have used them to reflect bass, bells, filter sweeps, and endless other tones. It is warmer than a digital synth, and the manipulation of the filter allows for infinite tones.

The mixer allows for style, adding in noise and the ring modulation to the tones. The ability to create custom tones is a big advantage to this instrument.

moosers's review

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
The Moog Music / Realistic ConcertMate MG-1 is an analog synthesizer made in the early 1980s. It is about two and a half octaves and has 32 keys. Unfortunately, it does not have a pitch or modulation wheel, which is one of this guys only flaws. It has an instrument cable jack in the front and has pitch and trigger outputs and a set of RCA outputs and aux outputs. I have only used the instrument cable in the front when recording direct or sending it to an amplifier.


The setup of the synth is pretty easy to follow, but takes a bit of time to really get to know what everything can do. I've gotten a wide array of sounds from this and I am never surprised when it makes a sound I haven't heard it make before. If you know a lot about synthesizers I'm sure you can figure out easily what everything does, this is my first synth so I'm probably not as experienced with synths as some of you out there. The manual is very helpful and includes a bunch of presets that really demonstrate the variety of sounds you can get with this guy.


The sounds this Moog makes suits my style in situations that I feel it is necessary to use it in. Whenever I use it it always sounds good, but I don't always use it. You can get a classic moog lead synth or bass sound with this as well as a plethora of other sounds, most of which are hard to describe. Most of the sounds you can get with this are very realistic sounding and usable and it is a great tool for getting some great synth sounds


I've had my MG-1 for about four years now. Even since then the price seems to have raised for these guys if you can get one on ebay. It is a true Moog and while it is not as diverse as a Voyager, it sounds great for what it does. While it is small, it is enough keys for me to play the parts I want to play. The only real problems I have with this are because it needs to be serviced and cleaned as it is almost 30 years old. Most of the time it works fine. The biggest downfall in the make up of the MG-1 is its lack of a pitch and modulation wheel, as I feel the pitch bender is almost necessary to have while playing a Moog synth. The price is just about as cheap as you can pay for a Moog synth, as this is the lowest end model of the true Moog synths. Of course I would love to have a Prodigy or a Rouge, or even a Voyager, but the difference it price made the MG-1 my only option. I'm glad I have it and I hope to hold on to it for a long time!

stiiiiiiive's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"Original and fun."

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
The MG-1 is an analog synthesizer designed by Moog Tandy, owner of the RadioShack brand in the United States and who sold labeled Realistic material. My father bought all kinds of hacks out there.

A small keyboard of two octaves and a half, without velocity or aftertouch, allows 6 kg (barely) MG-1 to be carried everywhere.

Next generation ...

A mono part resting on two voltage-controlled oscillators whose frequency is adjustable on 3 octaves (-2, -1, and 0 for one and -1, 0 and 1 for the other). Both allow you to choose between a sawtooth wave or a square wave with different duty cycles, not modular. A potentiometer is used to tune the oscillator 2 as a function of 1. Finally, the two oscillators are synchronized. We just regret that no modulation source, except the dedicated potentiometer, permits to modulate the frequency of the oscillator 2 only.

A second part consists of a polyphonic square wave generator which passes through the dividers octave. We thus find an organ sound transistor general public, of course, but not only, I will return. This function allows you to blow the benefit of a third oscillator, but beware: no possible transposition, each key triggers a rating.

Each part has its own global tuning.

A noise generator is used to mix it with other sources. For more technical among us, there are interesting to know that the noise is based on a digital pseudo-random generator.

Finally, a ring-modulator based on an "exclusive-or" gives an additional source for inharmonic sounds or to give a little grain at all.

A Mixer section allows dosing everything beautiful world before sending in the filter.

The filter is a conventional filter went Moog lowpass 24 dB / Oct, resonant, self-oscillating if pushed. Track keyboard is switchable between 0, 50% and 100%.

Modulation side ...

LFO generates waveforms square, triangular and random walk. His speed is not peaked but not bad enough to give expressiveness. The frequency modulation of the two VCOs and the filter can be assayed using two potentiometers. The frequency of polyphonic part is not flexible.
An envelope with two parameters, switchable between AD and ASR, can control the volume and / or the cutoff frequency of the filter.
Regarding the volume, there is the alternative of using a rectangular enclosure base or leave the VCA always open to make drones.
Moreover, as there is an envelope, polyphonic part is subject to the attack phase but the release phase is absent for some settings: this is the paraphonie several notes but only one filter and one envelope.

Note also that the LFO to cyclically trigger the envelope and it also has a portamento.

Side routing ...

All the sources pass through the filter and envelope, with the sole exception of paraphonie described above. Suddenly, the modulations of the filters in the envelope or LFO completely sculpt the sound.

Side connections ...

The outputs are phono / RCA size: for the general public. There is also a pair of entries in the same format to bring the signal from the turntable to play Granny and over :) But beware, these inputs are not routed through the filter.
A headphone jack is available ... front: good.
A trigger input and a pitch into 1V/Oct possible to control the MG-1 from the outside. The service manual suggests that with proper jack cable, keyboard MG-1 can control another instrument through the same connection.

Changes exist that allow him to add a MIDI input, standard output jack or to past entries in the filters. Among other ...

His twin brother is almost the Moog The Rogue. It is distinguished by the absence of pitch and modulation, the ability to select the octave and waveform oscillators independently polyphonic part and the ring-modulator, a less straightforward keyboard action the absence of modulation of the frequency of the oscillator 2, for these typical sync leads. Some details are available on the pages of Vintage Synth Explorer.


The MG-1 is a very fun instrument. It has a charm and it's a real pleasure to walk on its front panel and listen to him sing. The sound is rather crude, and its possibilities are rather unusual.

By mixing the polyphonic part VCOs and a semblance of layers is obtained. The keyboard gives priority to the highest note. So, when a plate agreement, VCOs play this note. And that's good because the ear better distinguish the highest score in an agreement, and gives the illusion to the ears of non-geek that all the chord is played with the sound of VCOs. Well thought out.

So, despite its limitations, the MG-1 is more versatile in terms of playing technique

With almost 30 years under their belt, the potentiometers can withstand a bit and make the tuning of the oscillator 2 approximate. To my mind, this is the charm of analog: the inaccuracy in the service of thickness. By the way, my own breath a little.

The name parameter is consumer oriented because this instrument was dedicated to this market. So, real geeks can find disconcerting at first, but will make their marks quickly. And then the issue is simple: there is not much and everything is at your fingertips.

The lack of wheels can cool in a few. For my part, I started playing and I put my hand on the left side reflex. Surprise. But originality is so endearing that we want to play differently.


I use the MG-1 for a week. I will not venture to spread sound comparisons because I think the experience of an instrument is not limited to sound, but also to the interface and the possibilities it offers. For once, the MG-1 a little out of the ordinary and I think few synths offer the same gaming experience

Its strengths are in my opinion the mono / paraphonique originality. Compactness can make "small wins that everywhere."
None of his weakness has really handicapped me. If I really had to choose two, it would be ... go to: lack of modulation of the frequency of the oscillator 2 only, and we would still transpose an octave lower.

I recommend watching the video of Mark Doty (aka AutomaticGainsay) which brilliantly describe the details of the instrument and how it can benefit from its limitations.

nikatsu's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Hidden treasure"

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
Everything has already been said.
Monophonic and polyphonic VCOs 2 2.5 octaves (triangular wave organ type 8-bit). (Limited but very interesting) to combine the two sections. A Ring Modulator. And noise. Unlike Snape, the VCOs are désynchronisables (choice of octave and waveform different for each). The second oscillator begins to an octave above the first. The low-pass filter 24dB/oct resonant Moog is obviously a gem and it is him the heart of the beast.


This is in my opinion one of the synths ideals to learn about subtractive synthesis. The synth is originally inscribed for the mass market (ie more or less of a toy), the terminology has been designed accordingly: we do not speak of oscillators but "Tone Sources", no Ring Modulator but "Bell Tone". Anecdotal but fun.
Everything is very simple, didactic, we understand very quickly what parameter has any effect on the sound. This quickly becomes a breeze (that's good) and very nice sculpt the sound you have in mind.


This is huge. Really. One of the best mono I had on hand. For having at the same time an MS-10 and Moog, ben is not good photo, the MG-1 Korg buries almost any point of view. Even the bass is a monster. The second oscillator obviously allows more versatility. Color level, it's gringo: it is bold, warm, copper, and incredibly musical. Typically the kind of instrument (because it is an indisputably) that looks and laughs at the beginning, at progressively use, relegating the other closet. This synth is a hidden treasure as there are few.
Just think a band like Sunn O))) has recently added a Rogue (which thus stems from the MG-1) to the live set for more grain and sub. It gives you an overview of potential cataclysmic this toy for small nChildren Ricans.
Polyphonic part is interesting for two reasons. The first is qu'utilisée in addition to one or two oscillators, one can actually simulate a real polyphony manageable by the filter and modulation. The second is simply that mono, well, it makes you a third oscillator. Coupled with the octave below the first tilt with the same waveform, it makes you a chorus that ** everything. This is obviously disproportionate as compared but hey, the Minimoog is not far (for 1/5 the price).
The only downside (and again), no modulation wheel or pitch. But the modulation section itself is well thought out and with a little dexterity, you begin to get out.


2 years that I use. I played mainly on a MS-10 before (I'm not talking about VSTs, does not exist anymore since I Moog). I'm not knocking any of the Korg, which is a great synth but hey, the Moog is over, there is no photo. With one exception: the envelopes are softer on the MG-1 thus requiring some low outspoken attack, the Korg it passes.
I plussoie previous opinion in the squabble against the neo-analos. The Little Phatty not stand comparison with the MG-1 sounds more on plastic, cold. Soft. No natural way.
What I like most: everything! I said that the sound was monstrous?
The least: their envelopes without doubt. And calibration is a bit boring. The synth is right on the beach in the middle. Lower and higher, it spin. But also it creates the natural magnifying advantageously chorus sound ...
Price / quality ratio: very good. Bought 400 euros, supposedly in good condition, I found myself with the second tilt death. Kit in Technology Transplant later he was again brand new for 70 euros more and a lot of hours repair ... So if you find one, it would probably be reckoned with this extra expense. But for 500 euros, it's still a good deal for me. It is better than almost all other monophonic currently more expensive (Rogue, MS-10, Prodigy, Liberation ...). And I'm fussy about the price ...

brachioo's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" And its amazing possibilities!"

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
PUR analog synth. Two and a half octaves.
2 VCO, 1 LFO ... Everything has already been said the above.

Ability to play the bass, the synth 70s and 80s with a grain analog amazing, noise generator white / brown / pink playing with filters.


The grip is simple when you know the principle of analog. That said, no manual, nothing better than a zero put all the sliders and progressive activation whole to apprehend the possibility of the machine.

Filters really respond well and are very accurate.
A basic mix for the determination of intensity of VCO, LFO, Noise generator.


Wow, I've never tested anything else that makes it possible to go into space as quickly and intuitively.
Just play with the contours and filters to realize the enormous potential of the MG-1. Its just a unique Moog sound pure and simple that can take you away trees.
I couple with delay, the reverb and EQ. Indeed cosmic assured.
With time (30 years casually), some sliders crachottent a bit. To remedy ca, nothing better than to replace them.


I bought it used on AF 450 euros a month ago. I use it for 3 weeks. I think I never regret such a purchase. This synth is a gem.
In addition, it is possible to add bcp input and trigger output to connect a modular system.
It is also possible to integrate an entry / exit south. In short, it bonnheur
I tried the Little Phatty and I must say that the sound has unfortunately changed since that time. I can not find this particular grain of pure polyphony or filter.

jupiler's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Realistic Concertmate MG-1
Monophonic synthesizer from the early 80
VCO 2, the second can be rpport Disagree with the first.
LFO can modulate the filter, the VCO
+ Setting Glide
+ A very good filter MOOG
+ Setting envelope here called CONTOUR
Mixing with TONE + part 1, 2 TONE, Noise, Bell Tone (it is a ring mode), Polyponie (yes, this was an organic part monophonic polyphonic, which is an advantage over its cousin the Moog Rogue ) ...


The configuration is simple and effective, it made her sound very quickly, and the modulations are very effective.


This is the Moog sound, with the large dynamic of the time ..
Very good for bass and leads.


I have almost all MOOG (except Poly, Memory) and yet I love this synth, I also bought several, one for the stage one for the studio, both are in very good condition and n have never been a problem (I have around 3 years). it has its peculiar leg while remaining in the palette moog sounds. It has fewer possibilities, but I think it has more potatoes than my Prodigy.
The value for money around 500 Euros if you find one, seems more than adequate in view of inflation (I had paid 600 Euros for two at the time) and the scarcity of vintage analog synths.