Maschine Studio vs MPC Renaissance
In the drum machine world, there seems to be a huge debate. Should you buy an MPC Renaissance or should you buy a Maschine Studio?
Both drum machines have their own purpose and can be a great choice for the right producer. This article will be focusing on not “which drum machine is better”, but “which drum machine is right for YOU”.
Akai is a company that was founded in 1929 as an electrical parts company. During the 90s is when they made a serious impact on the electronic music scene. Famous MPCs such as the MPC2000 and MPC3000 were tools that a lot of producers couldn’t live without
On the other side of the ring, Native Instruments is an equally reputable, but slightly newer company(started in 1996). What I love about Native Instruments is how innovative they are. Whether you are looking at their DJ equipment, software, or midi controllers, all of their products are top-notch.
These two companies have been the topic of heated debates among producers of all different genres. In this comparison article, we’ll be taking a more critical look at the Akai MPC Renaissance and the Native Instruments Maschine Studio.
Physical and Hardware Features
At a glance, you’ll see a clear difference in size and layout. The MPC is slightly smaller than Maschine, but thicker in volume.
The knobs have a nice feel both on the MPC Renaissance and the Maschine Studio. There are fewer knobs on the Maschine. The MPC has 16 assignable knobs while the Maschine only has 8.
When it comes to pad quality, the MPC Renaissance is slightly better. I’m not saying that the Maschine’s pads are bad by any means. The MPC has classic-feeling pads with great velocity sensitivity and expression.
If you care about having a sound card in your drum machine, the MPC Renaissance might be for you. The Renaissance has a built-in audio interface. I have not yet seen Native Instruments implement an audio interface on their drum machines.
Both drum machines have great connection options and support midi inputs/outputs. They both have footswitch inputs and can be connected to your computer via usb.
Drum pads, like most pro-audio equipment, comes with some free included software to get you started making music.
Native Instruments was extremely generous with its included software. You get plenty of software instruments(including the full version of NI Massive) and the Maschine 2.0 software.
Akai includes less software since they have realized most MPC producers appreciate a computer-less setup. They do, however, include a sample pack that is a whopping 9GB in size! You’ll get plenty of drum sounds, as well as loops and effects. If you are just getting started, this is the kind of boost you need!
Originally, MPC was priced much higher(double the price of the Maschine). Akai has taken the price down to match the price of the Maschine.
On Amazon, the price of both of these drum machines has stayed pretty consistent at $999.00.
I believe that both of these drum machines bring great value. You have to determine if you rather have the classic computer-less workstation or a more modern software-influenced workstation. Neither answer is right or wrong.
Vintage vs Modern
Every producer has a different preference. Some producers prefer making music without the aid of a computer of software. Other producers don’t mind staring at a computer screen for hours because they feel the software helps them get their ideas down faster.
Without a doubt, MPCs will get a huge backing from old school hip-hop producers. Once you get the hang of the MPC workflow, getting down your ideas becomes second nature.
Producers of all different genres seem to prefer the Maschine. Even a lot of old school hip-hop producers are transitioning to Maschine. While it is a device that relies on a computer, Native Instruments still wanted it to have a computer-less workflow. All of your important controls and functions don’t require you to look at your computer screen to modify. You will have no trouble producing an entire track on the s without looking at your computer screen.
So here’s what I think: The Maschine Studio is the top dog when it comes to software intuitiveness , design, and visual feedback It’s an all-around drum machine that can cater to a wide range of genres and styles.
On the other hand, MPC is more suited for computer-less setups, mobile gigs, and portability. Just because the MPC was most relevant during the 90s, doesn’t mean that it has no use today. There are still many producers who prefer their MPC over all other hardware.
Just remember that their is no end-all-be-all answer. The drum machine that is right for you depends on YOUR needs.