Akai – Hungry Like The Rhythm Wolf
Akai has unleashed the Rhythm Wolf, an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing. The Rhythm Wolf claims to be an authentic analog instrument (although Akai declined to provide audio samples at Messe) that combines iconic analog sounds for music production and performance. The drum machine consists of five drum sounds: a kick, snare, open hi-hat, closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion. Onboard controls allow users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately in real-time. The bass synthesizer features a selectable oscillator (sawtooth or square wave), classic filter design, a filter envelope with variable decay. Rhythm Wolf features USB-MIDI, MIDI In/Out, a gate trigger connectivity.
» Awful name
» 5-voice analog drum machine and synth—authentic analog design that references classic rhythm machines and synthesizers
» Legendary analog drum sounds—kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion
» Synth-bass module—selectable square or sawtooth wave with classic filter design for warm, deep basses and squelchy leads.
» Onboard 32-step sequencer—classic drum machine workflow for quickly laying down grooves and melodies
» Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob
» Two audio outputs enable producers and ?performers to mix percussion sounds and bass independently.
» Six genuine MPC pads—responsive controls for sequencing and finger drumming
» Howl knob—custom distortion circuit for additional sound design (Really?? Howl Knob? Yeesh!)
» USB-MIDI and MIDI In/Out—flexible MIDI connectivity for easy integration into modern studios
» Gate Trigger—triggering via modular synths, vintage sequencers, or external sound
» Dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass
Akai Professional Product Manager Dan Gill bellows, “The Rhythm Wolf puts those sought after analog drum machine and synthesizer sounds right into the hands of today’s musicians. We set out to make a compact drum machine and bass synthesizer, inspired by the classics, that can adapt to any studio setup and integrate with modern and vintage music equipment.” Gill is now looking for a new job when his boss came down from his Nitrous high and realized that he actually green lighted the Wolf name…just kidding.
The Future: This could be really cool and it’s got a magical price point for the features, but someone’s got to make a interface overlay to shield users from that dreadful name and logo. Question is…will Akai trot out sequels with other animal names? I say they target farm animals that are popular at petting zoos. How about the Rhythm Horse, or the Rhythm Chicken? The Rhythm Goat, Rhythm Cow…or our favorite the Rhythm Duck.
Akai’s Rhythm Wolf will be available this Summer 2014 for a claimed street price of $199.99.