There is quite a bit of buzz surrounding the recent launch of the Akai MPC Renaissance. One question remains hard to define… “Is the vintage mode an emulation of the MPC 3000 or does the Renaisance contain the same D/A (Outputs) as the MPC 3000!?”

A major selling point for Akai’s new drum machine controller is the output/sound characteristics of the Akai MPC 3000. The Renaissance has “vintage” mode flavors which emulate the Akai MPC 3000, 60, & E-Mu SP-1200. Clearly, the MPC60 & SP-1200 is software/algorithmic based emulation, but I still haven’t found any clear answer as to the origin of the A/D Converters / Out’s. Are they the same as the original MPC 3000?

With the $1,300 price tag, known list of bugs, and lack of true “Stand Alone” mode (i.e. not connected to a computer)… some are holding off on purchasing the MPC Renaissance early on… or entirely. Most people will opt for NI Maschine, stick with their hardware MPC’s, or use their MPD + Software setup. We can bet one thing will be certain, the next emergence of NI Maschines controllers will likely incorporate some of the features of the REN and stay one step ahead of Akai.

My setup will remain… Reason 6.5, Akai MPD32, E-Mu SP-1200, and outboard rack gear + API Lunchbox.

My 2 cents, at $1,300… grab a vintage drum machine. Go on eBay and bid on an MPC60, 3000, or E-Mu SP-1200 if you are looking for “authentic” analog flavor. Part of the allure of these machines is their limitations and analog sound that can be closely mimicked by bit crushing software, but never TRULY replicated.

You are also better off purchasing some additional hardware/outboard gear if you are considering the MPC Ren for the price point. End results can be achieved for a lot less cash which can be allocated for  high end pre amps, A/D-D/A converters, sound modules, rack gear, mics, live instruments, etc.