Akai MPC “Renaissance” Controller / Workstation Product Review

Akai MPC “Renaissance” Controller / Workstation Product Review
Akai MPC “Renaissance” Controller / Workstation Product Review

Given the 2010 release of the Machine by Native Instruments and the following release of the Machine Mikro in 2011 (recently copped by DJ DN3) there has been a big trend toward Hardware Controllers that combine easy access sound editing with responsive hands-on music production. Take time to check out F Major demoing the Machine 1.5 unit on Youtube. The ability to edit your sounds in the PC or MAC with powerful editors and/or plugins then go right to music production without having to move sounds back-and-forth between the drum machine and DAW help to optimize workflow in the studio or laboratory.

Another concern that we’ll have to check when the MPC Renaissance is released is the quality of the Audio I/O circuitry. Akai claims this unit will emulate the sound of vintage drum machines like the MPC60 and MPC3000. Great sounding drum machines like the Emu SP1200, Akai MPC3000 and Sequential Circuits Studio 440 have defined what heavy hitting tracks should sound like due to the detailed attention taken when the audio circuits are designed by these companies. Allot of new units are now made overseas and may not have the great circuitry that made the historical units famous. These days shortcuts are taken as engineers try to achieve these tonal qualities via software algorithms.

On a separate note Akai really seems to be targeting the black (African American) hip-hop producers in their trailer video featuring SeanC & LV with Araab Mizik shown below. I wonder how many black engineers or executives are employed at Akai headquarters.

Akai Professional: Fusing Akai Professional’s legendary MPC layout and workflow with the power of your computer, MPC Renaissance is an unrivaled instrument for music production. The new flagship is a fully integrated hardware/software system: MPC Renaissance allows you to create using classic hardware controls and an integrated pop-up display, while it’s exclusive MPC Software empowers you with unprecedented, expandable production capabilities on your Mac or PC.


Fuses legendary MPC production with the processing power of your computer
Vintage Mode changes output sound character to MPC3000, MPC60 and more
16 backlit genuine MPC pads, 16 Q-Link controls, and adjustable backlit LCD screen
Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing and MPC transport controls
MPC SOFTWARE for Mac or PC with 64-track sequencing capability
Two XLR-1/4” combo inputs and dedicated turntable input
Four-channel US B 2.0 audio interface and two-port US B 2.0 hub built in
Up to eight pad banks―more than any other MPC ever
Two MIDI inputs and four MIDI outputs
Stereo 1/4” out, stereo assignable mix 1/4” out & S/PDIF I/O

64-track sequencing capability
Massive 6GB+ sound library, including all of the sounds of the classic MPC3000
Instant mapping and real-time adjustment of VST plug-ins
Record each track as an MPC drum program, Keygroup program or VST plug-in
Runs standalone and as VST, AU or RTAS plug-in
Supports WAV, MP3, AIFF, REX and SND
Supports samples and sequences from any MPC ever made
Mac and PC-compatible

Keep it locked to Big Noise Radio for authentic hip-hop music produced on the Akai MPC!

Article: Big Noise
Editor: Noiseman
Photo: Akai Pro

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