Akai Pro Launches the Sneak Attack with RHYTHM WOLF – an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer

So just when you thought this was another boring Monday, Akai Pro goes and unleashes the wild dog on us. The Rhythm Wolf… ok well, that’s a name. There no audio demos as of yet but I have to say that it is a nice surprise and, if  I may take that a bit further,  it’s a bit of a shocker. I mean beatmakers, for the most part, are only thinking of the mighty MPC line when Akai Pro says they have a big announcement.

I think I can confidently say that the last thing any of us expected is “an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing.” Especially when Korg has led the charge with the Volcas, rather nicely, and Roland showed up to the party with a digital replica of their own analog classic drum machine. It’s like a good ole cmatch where the one dude who’s on the injured list shows up in the middle of the main event and runs down thru the crowd to the ring.  It doesn’t even matter at first sight what that guy might or might not be able to do, he showed up and shocked everyone …and the crowd goes wild.

Best of all, the Wolf shall be tamed for only $199. #winning

So, as we await a few solid demonstrations of the RHYTHM WOLF’s abilities and sound, lets see what Akai Pro has to say about it in the press release.

Cumberland, RI, USA—March 11, 2014. Akai Professional (akaipro.com), a leading innovator of music equipment for production and performance, announces the Rhythm Wolf, an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing.

The Rhythm Wolf is an authentic analog instrument that combines the coveted sounds of early electronic and hip-hop music with genuine Akai Professional workflow. Inspired by the classic analog beat machines and synthesizers of the past, Rhythm Wolf enables today’s musicians to harness iconic analog sounds for music production and performance. The drum machine consists of five highly-tweakable drum sounds and includes a kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion. Onboard controls allow users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment. The bass synthesizer features a selectable oscillator (sawtooth or square wave), classic filter design, a filter envelope with variable decay, and is capable of creating powerful bass sounds and squelchy leads.

Outfitted with six genuine MPC pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, the Rhythm Wolf provides an ultra-responsive interface with a classic drum machine layout. Drum patterns can be fine-tuned using the Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob. A custom distortion signal path, activated by the “Howl” knob, adds grit and character for additional tone shaping. Rhythm Wolf features USB-MIDI, MIDI In/Out, a gate trigger, and integrates seamlessly with modern and vintage equipment. Two audio outputs enable producers and performers to mix percussion sounds and bass independently.


Rhythm Wolf  Highlights:

  • 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
  • Six genuine MPC pads—responsive controls for sequencing and finger drumming
  • Howl knob—custom distortion circuit for additional sound design
  • 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 sources
  • Independent audio outputs—dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass module for precise mixing

Akai Professional Product Manager Dan Gill notes, “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.”

The Rhythm Wolf will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price. Akai Professional will unveil the Rhythm Wolf at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany. For more information, visit: akaipro.com/messe2014.


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