New Year, New Gear! The hotly awaited MPC Studio has arrived in my lap and I thought it only fair to snap a couple of quickies and string some words together…
The big MPC comeback was always planned as a threesome; MPC Renaissance is the big daddy, MPC Studio is the portable unit, and MPC Fly is the super portable iPad version. MPC Renaissance is out and has already seen a couple of maintenance updates, the iPad has the MPC Software and is patiently waiting for the pads to make it complete, and now MPC Studio is just peeking out from behind the development parapet.
Having played pretty extensively with the MPC Renaissance (if you haven’t read our review yet, what are you waiting for?!), I’ve become quite familiar with MPC Software. This means that not only should the review of MPC Studio not take quite as long to get done, but also I’ll be able to see how the two units fare when it comes to being controllers for the new, all powerful computer brain.
As always, we like to take our time to make sure things are done right at OD, and if that means that things aren’t done quick, then that’s the compromise we’d rather make. That said it’s a new year, new leaf, and all of that good stuff, and so no sooner than I got a knock on the door from our friendly neighbourhood courier was I at the desk prodding away at Akai’s newest baby so I could give you our first impressions. Here’s our top eight (that reminds me, what happened to that comeback MySpace was about to do?)…
MPC Studio: Eight First Impressions
- Immediately after plugging in the MPC Studio I was controlling MPC Software projects I’d created with MPC Renaissance – a good sign.
- The screen is really nice; a lack of tilt is a bit of a shame because the unit’s completely flat, but the viewing angle is very wide.
- The pads feel just like the ones in the MPC Renaissance – I need to confirm whether they’re exactly the same, but I’d be surprised if not.
- The data wheel feels great, with a smooth motion but at the same time a pretty ‘thick’ clicking action on rotation.
- The Q-Link and scroll wheels are much better than I remember from previous brief meetings with the MPC Studio; it seems both easy and fun to use the wheels and find values. I’m still reserving judgement until extended use, though.
- I’m not totally sold on the soft buttons yet. Rather than hard plastic, everything has that squidgy feel, including the D-pad. There’s a click with everything, though, and light escapes from beneath them with through a translucent strip on the buttons themselves.
- Considerably smaller and more compact than the MPC Renaissance, the MPC Studio is also smaller than Maschine and not a great deal bigger than Maschine Mikro – but the near flat design achieved by using wheels instead of knobs makes it extremely portable.
- Akai are really pushing the portability of MPC Studio, it seems, with a nice neoprene carry case to enable you to take the MPC Studio around with you in confidence. There’s nothing like the smell of a new synthetic soft case!
Pretty good start! Of course, a quick look isn’t complete without some rough and ready pictures, so take a look at our hastily compiled images… more, and more beautiful ones, to come in the full review.
Any thoughts? Let us know below!