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Video: Akai MPC Renaissance: A Closer Look From NAMM & Where To Purchase
Video: Akai MPC Renaissance: A Closer Look From NAMM & Where To Purchase

By JR on 11:11 AM

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In 2012, Akai presents the latest in their esteemed legacy of midi production centers, the Akai MPC Renaissance. This is the world's first MPC designed for integration with a Mac or PC desktop computer, one of the main design features which separates this one from the classics. The ability to seamlessly create a workflow between an MPC and desktop computer has been highly anticipated for awhile, now with the Renaissance that vision has finally become a reality. This new union between Akai's legendary hardware design and the flexibility of a computer and software gives producers a whole new set of options in the process of music-making while maintaining the good old features of the MPC legacy. In essence, this latest innovation from Akai combines the familiar workflow layout, features and sonic characteristics of classic MPCs with modern features that aim to please both dedicated fans and new users of the MPC. Roger Linn's innovative ideas and design have been updated based on receiving input from dozens of working producers who seek the essence of the MPC combined with more flexibility in it's use. “No other tool on the planet has all the things producers demand with the industry-leading feel that they expect from Akai Pro,” says Dan Gill, the Product Manager at Akai Professional. “MPC Renaissance the most advanced and powerful MPC ever produced, yet it retains a link to beloved MPCs of the past.”

Let's take a look at the hardware design of the Renaissance. The 16 pads now feature backlighting on each pad, this seems to be a growing trend for drum pad design in the new millennium and Akai has added this feature to add a contemporary look to their legendary design. Traditional MPC functions such as the 16 Q-Link controllers and Note-Repeat button are borrowed from the previous series of MPCs and are integrated in this new design. An array of useful controls are within your reach on the surface of the MPC for assignment to the internal functions, providing quick access and control over any software parameters in real time. The LCD screen looks better than ever and thankfully so due to the array of functionality you have within the Renaissance of programming sequences, effects and MIDI data. The new screen provides clear vision over your work at all times through the brightly backlit and adjustable design. However, you need not rely on just the LCD screen any longer, this MPC provides connectivity to your desktop computer for a larger view of your workspace. For people who like having the familiarity of most DAW or sequencer controls on hand to use at moments notice like faders for ADSR, this MPC comes with it's own set of transport controls. For creating external audio, MIDI and computer connections, this machine comes equipped with enough inputs and outputs for any studio environment. The built-in 2-port USB hub features four MIDI outputs and two 5-pin MIDI inputs for controlling external hardware via the Renaissance controllers. The audio in/out section boasts a stereo 1/4 inch output, stereo assignable 1/4 inch mix-out, S/PDIF in and out, switchable phono/line-in and phantom-powered dual-balanced XLR combo inputs.

For those who may be wondering about the type of sound which you will receiving coming out of this new MPC, Akai has gone the extra length to internalize the original audio converters from the classic 60 and 3000 models inside the new Renaissance. This feature allows you to choose ‘Vintage Mode’ which gives you the analog punch and lo-fi grit based on the circuitry which is sought after in older MPCs. Choose from three settings: MPC3000, MPC60 and Other on the front panel to effect your sounds. This will be a useful option especially for users who enjoy a particular color to their sounds upon output which is unique to classic MPCs. Just hit a button on the front panel and you will receive the warm low-end tonal characteristics of the MPC3000 or 12-bit sound of the MPC60 coming from your speakers!

The built-in features of the Renaissance are powerful and designed to merge the functionality between standard MPC use and the flexibility of a desktop computer. However, the use of software is available only when you decide you need really it. Otherwise the MPC Renaissance features the essential design and sound users have always loved since the inception of the 60 in the 80's. You have the choice to work from the LCD screen for sequencing, creating songs, editing, auditioning and programming sounds in addition to sampling directly into the Renaissance to chop up sounds from vinyl. If you have programs, sequences, sounds and songs saved from earlier versions of the MPC, you have the option of importing all of your work, thanks to the software package included with the Renaissance. This MPC also has the ability to handle 8 pad banks instead of the previous 4 of earlier models, giving you access to audition more sounds from the pads.

Once you decide upon using computer with your new MPC Renaissance the palette for music making expands instantly. Gain access to the high-end features of a DAW while retaining the feel of a drum machine through access to plug-ins from the MPC software in addition to the ability for exporting program, sequence and sound data to a larger computer hard disk. If you feel like sequencing and editing on the computer as your preferred workflow, feel free to trigger your sounds from the pads and expand upon your ideas by using the features of the DAW.

The legendary layout, unique sound and workflow of Roger Linn's classic MPC series is merged with the power of today's computer for a union of unprecedented production capabilities. As the perfect hardware/software production center, MPC Renaissance proves to be the tool of choice for producers, beat makes and musicians looking for the best of both worlds in the vintage feel of an MPC combined with the powerful options of computer-based, digital audio workstations.

Purchase your MPC Renaissance today by ordering online at Best Buy

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