owner: Joe Paradiso, Medford, MA
To An Interview With Dr. Joseph Paradiso
The MG-1 was manufactured by Moog Music for Radio Shack for their Concertmate line of casio-like keyboards. However, the MG-1 is a true Moog, somewhere between a slimmed down Liberation, and a Moog Rogue, with a few extra stuff thrown in. It is a 2 VCO monophonic analog synthesizer with a 2 1/2-octave, 32-note keyboard. Also, like the Liberation, it had a simple polyphonic section (much like a simple organ).
Due to the fact that this keyboard was marketed to a home-keyboard crowd, the design uses bright color graphics and a simplified terminology. Both VCOs, called "Tone Generators" have independent octave switching. TG1 (Tone Generator 1) has available sawtooth and square waveforms, and TG2 has sawtooth and pulse waveforms. TG2 is detunable and can be synced to TG1. Unfortunately the pitch of TG2 cannot be controlled by the envelope generator (called "Contour"). There are separate tuning knobs for the TGs and the polyphonic section. The MG-1 has a 24dB/octave filter with a switch for keyboard tracking (full, half, or off), and sliders for cutoff frequency, resonance, and contour amount. The contour generator was a simple ASR (attack sustain release), with sliders for attack and release, and switches for sustain (on/off), enabling the sustain portion of the envelope, and release, switching between an imediate release (like an organ) and the release value set by its slider. The LFO is switchable between triangle and square waves, or sample-and-hold, with sliders to send it to the non-polyphonic VCOs or the VCF. Unfortunately there is no pitch wheel or modulation wheel. The mixer section has sliders to adjust the volume of the VCOs, the poly section, and the noise source, with an additional slider labeled "Bell", which is a simple ring-mod effect using the square-waves from the two VCOs.
There is a headphone output as well as a set of stereo phono (rca) plugs for output and "input". The input plugs are simply routed to the output plugs, and not to the synthesizer. Why stereo phono plugs? Radio Shack were marketing this synth to the home-keyboard crowd. The MG-1 did not have an external speaker. They expected people to hook it up to their home stereo systems. Although there are stereo plugs, they both had the same mono output. There were CV/gate ins and outs, not the usual Moog Cinch-Jones plugs either. They used full sized 1/4 inch jacks, a stereo jack for the CV.