Akai Mpc Vs Renoise

I’d love to have one, someday…hands on drumming on the pads is sweet.

an MPC is such a quick tool once you are used to it.
Imagine knowing how to use the Akai MPC as good / deep as we do renoise.

You would have song ideas down in seconds and probably on the way to mixing and droppin a track with in an hour.

MPC’s are chock full of goodness bbut at the momnet we are trying to setup renoise in a similar way … i think ableton Live is more closely related to the MPC in practicality / available options… but yer / sysex / CC madness will get the same effect…

Also check this out, Pete Rock and his MPC2000XL:

This was also entertaining stuff, Blaze on his MPC4000.

I’m starting to get the hang of how people work with it.

finally i buy a MPD 16 for Renoise and all was perfect…


To Jonas -

I think it’s a novelty any inexpensive midi drum triggering device could satisfy. As complex as your beat programming is its not as if you are going to hit record and belt out your percussion in real time with those pads.

Sure for messing around to get some ideas out quickly it sounds great; thus a cheap drum pad controller would save a lot of money.

Towards general discussion -

In terms of what’s better - from a versatility standpoint there is not comparison. Renoise wipes the floor with it along with just about any other modern computer based sequencer.

If you were to ask the industry which I am certain the thousands of hip hop producers they would say the sampler. It boils down to what you originally cut your teeth on and what you are used to.

That sampler is little more than a step sequencer…

I used to salivate at having a huge midi studio. I remember playing around with drum machines and programming the akai s950 many years ago :sic:.

The fact that modern day personal computers have the computing power to sequence, trigger samples, generate very high quality audio in real time with the use of VSTs is astounding.

I will never go back to all of the external gear? Maybe I am just very narrow in terms of my perspective, but what makes some feel the need to fill racks of equipment up? This more is better mentality? Seldom using a fraction of what they even have gear-wise?

Ok, now I am ranting on something entirely different and I apologize.

Am I just being a hater?


I used a MPC for a little while (the 2500) and honestly I wasn’t impressed. I was quite disappointed by the pads and build quality. The pads seemed rigid and not sensible enough. To get the max velocity you had to hit REALLY hard. And when you did that there was some noise from the metal parts vibrating inside the MPC. ;) (apparently it was not just my foulty MPC, I googled and there were lots of people with the same problem)

There are also some nice features to MPCs, like this one, for example. Small things, that make it a bit more suitable for live use and whatnot…
But making a complex songs with a MPC, cutting samples and so on? No, thanks.

Well, at least the newest MPCs play back samples from the playing position. This way, one can use large samples as audio tracks. If only Renoise would have this feature!

It’s all about the workflow isn’t it?

The MPC’s physical controls are designed specifically for the software it uses. Renoise’s use of the keyboard and mouse is really advanced, but computer input devices were just not designed for writing music with. This could be a really nice compromise, though.

I think the situation would be much better if it were reversed. It would be great if there was some standardised control surface that everyone wrote their software around, this way the computer would be secondary rather than primary. It would be great if software and hardware creators worked closer together -imagine if the Renoise crew got together with Novation and made a controller that fitted perfectly (a bit like how the original ReMote was supposed to be for Reason). Unlikely I know, but I can wish :D

I own the MPC-1000 with RAM ext. but indeed: I’m now fully used to software and I’m only using the MPC now to control the volume of my amiga (and to record A500 tunes) :slight_smile:

But it really is nice to jam once in a while. Since the new OS there are more possibilities to f**** up a rithm even more, and I urge everyone to try the MPC if they have the chance. It’s a wonderfull toy.

i own an mpc 1000 too.

the mpc is perfect for the way that i work,… but then that was before i heard about trackers and renoise.

it is a really great compositional tool, and the pads let you lay shit down that would simply take ages on a pianoroll type thing.

i’m originally a drummer so i basically played it like a drumkit with all ten fingers. sure beat the hell out of clicking every lil goddamned box on a pianoroll thing!

but one of the commenters is right, you could get that feeling with any cheap triggerfinger.

the other reason i use the mpc is for generating complex rhythms and fills by randomly banging on the pads at high bpms, then slowing things down, modifying the layers with a bit of swing at times and volumes so that i get a nice rhythm or solo bit going.

this exploits the mpc’s limitations. theres only so many samples it can play at once, forget how many, but that means certain samples get cut off while others play, but by intentionally exploiting that you get some interesting grooves going. something that might be hell to intentionally program.

hard to describe what i mean, but imagine on renoise you loaded up a kit and just banged away on the key boards creating an ungodly cacophony that would make satan shit his pants,… to sort that out into something resembleing music you’d have to fiddle with the settings of each note cos renoise can just about play as much as your processor can handle all at once. too much of a good thing :P

thats really the only reason i dont want to sell my mpc. but who knows, if i do manage to learn renoise inside out i might not have a need for it at all other than as an expensive midi controller :P

but yeah if you know renoise inside out and dont need an additional sequencer machine get one of those cheaper pad thingys.

renoise is alot like the mpc in that fundamentally they both just trigger samples. and so far i’ve found the workflow to be similar, and renoise is a helluva lot more intuitive comeing from an mpc than cubase was.

I’m always switching between Renoise, Ableton and h/w sequencers.

There’s no compairing them other than the quality and originality of what you produce with them.

It doesn’t make any difference whether Renoise has more/less/exactly-the-same features as an MPC, you will make completely different music with it.

PS I’m really not into playing drum pads live at all, I think the MPC’s far better as a step sequencer all the way.

Advantages of the MPC? Well hardware samplers give you a unique sound. Especially earlier models. I’ve always loved the Akai sound, but less and less as it’s started to sound like an expensive soundcard. the S950’s were pretty low spec but sounded so realistic. i listen to old things i did on it and there’s this light quality on the drums that makes them sound very natural and almost as if they were a mic’ed up kit.

Boards of Canada, FSOL, Autechre, etc. all continue to use Akai samplers because of this… even though they’ve all got technology which puts them to shame…

there is something very different about pressing a button and recording/playing back music straight away. the computer monitor’s the main reason i like to go back to h/w every so often. it really sucks your attention, and directs it to the visual part of the brain. i find i hear music completely differently with the monitor off - can’t help but wonder what kind of effect that has.

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yeah there is something different about not using a mouse, and just your ears. its incredibly liberating. i always make it a point to turn my monitor off during playback,… just closing your eyes aint good enough :P

cant really comment on the sound quality cos my mpc is the “kindergarten” grade of mpc’s and my first hardware sampler :P but i do like running things thru it from time to time.

as J Swift said, ultimately, its a different piece of your arsenal that you can use for a different kind of workflow resulting in different music. its pretty much up to the user whether different means better or worse.

i use the emulator x2 with renoise

excellent sampler

excellent sequencer

that is really what the mpc is

but to another level

and the total cost was 260 quid

which may seem expensive but really vs mpc 2500 its nothing

Yup EMU stuff as allways been at another level.

Why don’t you buy a trigger finger and use it with renoise?

I’m using MPC studio black (but using the LCD on it only) when i’m making beats, and when i’m out or mpc is out of reach, i fire up Renoise.
I love mpc because i’m sick of looking at the laptop as i work as sysadmin and sometimes it’s overwhelming when looking everyday blablabla, so MPC makes unique experience to me.
I use it as Pete Rock would, Grap Luva, or Damu the Fudgemunk… For that (boombap sampled) hip hop it’s awesome! yet you can do everything waaay faster in any kind of DAW, specially in renoise…
I have a dream maybe of using renoise as mpc (i know, just a dream :P). I see that some of you use Emulator x2, well i’ve used X3, made a lot of beats with it, but as i’m off windows, i dont use it anymore, but that software is the best software sampler ever, PERIOD!
Effects are just amazing. Did you hear that reverb? maaaan. It has “delay” per layer (zone), as you have on mpc for example, which makes easy layering drum hits, and delaying them in between, but still acting as one “key/pad”…
@JBL ~ MPC is not about finger drumming, the most important is using it “standalone” as not touching mouse, keyboard or anything at all. People often mistake hierarchy of MPC as it is simple midi controller…
Cheers! :slight_smile:

MPC had granular pitch shift which renoise does not - you could change the pitch of a sample without speeding it up / slowing it down.

MPC had toggle looped sample on / off by hitting a pad which renoise lacks. It good for starting a loop, playing drums over it, then pressing two pads at once to toggle off one loop and toggle on another, while keeping the beat going.

MPC also had some other features renoise doesnt have like ‘note repeat’.

I totally agree that the pads were shit though. Having to hit them too hard. You want to practise quietly as possible sometimes. Not really possible to practise quietly with the MPC1000. Newer MPC pads are better…MPC live, MPC touch etc.

The buttons were shitty and loud clicky, easily breakable after repeated presses.
The screen was too small on MPC500, the RAM upgrades were stupidly expensive.
They all took shitty compact flashcards.

The original sequencer before JJOS was nice and quite similar to renoise way of doing things. It worked at 96 ticks per quarter note or ‘beat’, so you can set renoise up in that way too.

They should have made an MPC that you could hold between your knees to play like a djembe. People were getting good with finger drumming on MPC500 in spite of the shitty pads which needed ‘corking’ or ‘thick and fat’ pad upgrades.

MPC500 could have been cool as a portable device but you had to put your knees together and rest the MPC500 ontop…that was no good. It would have been much better if it had rubber on both sides so that you could hold it locked between your knees to play it.

Ableton push 2 has the best, most sensitive pads these days. Wide enough to play rolls with one finger of each hand…sensitive enough to play rolls with two fingers of one hand. I wish they would sell it as only the pads, none of the ableton controls.

The possibilities for live drumming and clip launching / loop triggering with 64 pads are awesome…launchpad pro has shitty pads unfortunately. It would be nice if new pads come out that are ‘conductive’ as well as velocity and pressure sensitive, so that they could sense even the lightest touch like a touchscreen can ( for quiet practise or subtle dynamics ).

They need to bring out MPC stands, for playing standing up. They dont fit well in a snare stand. Mixer stands arent designed to be drummed on. Its a difficult problem to get it at the right height to play with ‘fixed’ table heights

When buying pad controllers there arent too many places where you can try before you buy to check the pad sensitivity which is the main thing to think about before actually paying for them. Most of the pad controllers out there are just not sensitive enough. There are even ‘crosstalk’ issues on some (when another pad triggers when it isnt supposed to).

The best ones are ableton push 2, the pads on the MPC live and MPC touch…
I have heard korg padkontrol has great pads although never got a chance to try one.
I have heard zendrum laptop has great pads although never got a chance to try…thats an interesting one.

The best options on a budget are probably korg padkontrol and Akai MPD218, both about 70 euro

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The mpc sequencer is great, turn it on beat it up and done
Something I have been missing for years on the pc
sell my Mpc2500 because build cheap quality (the new models are better) and awkward file management

my setup these days
Pattering IOS (programming) with Clock or Midi to Yamaha Ry30 (Drumming) to Renoise/Redux (File Management, Sample Editing)

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Not sure if anyone here has seen this but this YouTube video of a person using Renoise with an MPC was my first glimpse at the power of this platform:

Now I mostly use the pattern editor to compose but I just got the Roli Lightpad Block and can already tell it’s an amazing drum pad controller, FWIW.

where is mpc? that’s only MPK midi controller with keys and drum pads…