Maple, the analog to the digital is much like a snap acting relief valve vs. a modulating. Let me explain, a snap type relief valve is all or nothing. its open or closed. A modulating Relief valve has the ability to sense where the pressure is and open to maintain a set point. A snap only opens then closes.
I have been using analogs for a long time, although I have not used a Masterbuilt. With the other brands you must start the unit on high to start the heating process to create smoke, then turn the temp on the rheostat to the preselected heat for the unit basically becomes cyclic to maintain a set point averaged by the high low. The unit may have set points at 225 to come on and 275 to turn off, and the temp you'll see on the knob is 250. These are just examples.
That's why the first smoke on high is so important. If its a low temp its trying to maintain, it may not be enough heating time to maintain the chips smolder.
Again I restate, I have not used a Masterbuilt. But that is the basic thesis of how an analog works. That is why we progressed to digital, because it is much more precise.
Also in over 30 years of smoking with them, I only used a water pan when I was doing hot and fast skin meats, basically fowl. Because the will crack and break if not brought up to temp and maintained slowly when using high heat. That is why it is more important with an analog to maintain temp by keeping the door closed. Those heat recovery rebounds are harsh. Actually I finally learned how to never open the smoker till I was done and pulling the meat.
The reason you are not seeing the smoke you expect, you must keep that door closed. An analog does not recover like an digital. HIgh temp for the first 15 to 30 mins to smoke the chamber, then set to your chosen cooking temp. Then walk way till you are ready to pull.
Its a great unit, its fun to use, and can make totally awesome meats when mastered. Its just less a plug and play than a digital unit. You have to think ahead of it.