Rhythm Wolf Analog Drum Machine Spotted In The Wild

The Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf Analog Drum Machine was one of the biggest stories coming out of this year’s Musikmesse. The new drum machine promised analog synthesis, MPC style drum pads, tons of tweakability and a killer $199 price.

The only catch? It wasn’t ready to demo at Musikmesse.

Now that’s changed.

Here’s the first video of the Rhythm Wolf drum machine in action. It’s not an official ‘polished’ demo video – it’s just 7:48 of uncut analog drum machine action.

The video below is some additional footage from Akai’s 6/17 video shoot. It shows some additional sound tweaking with the Rhythm Wolf.

Again, it’s not a polished musical demo or a intro video, just a preview of the new machine. Headphones or monitors are recommended, laptop speakers can’t reproduced the low end on this.

Rhythm Wolf Highlights:

  • 5-voice analog drum machine and synth, with analog design that references classic rhythm machines and synthesizers
  • Analog drum sounds: kick, snare, open and closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion
  • Synth bass module: selectable square or sawtooth wave
  • Onboard 32-step sequencer
  • Six genuine MPC pads for sequencing and finger drumming
  • “Howl” knob: custom distortion circuit for additional sound design
  • MIDI connectivity: USB-MIDI and MIDI In/Out
  • Gate Trigger: for triggering via modular synths, vintage sequencers, or external sound sources
  • Dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass

Pricing and Availability

Akai Pro’s Rhythm Wolf is expected to be available in the Fall with a street price of US $199.99. For more information, check out the Akai Professional website.


107 thoughts on “Rhythm Wolf Analog Drum Machine Spotted In The Wild

  1. This is not 200 USD, but 200 EUR in my country. For that price you can get used volca beats AND bass and you have perfect acid combo. Hell you can even get something like DR110 (or TR505 or DR660) and monotribe and it still sounds better. This is a disappointment, bass sounds like worst VA 303 emulation. The only interesting thing is kick. And you can get two MBASE01 for the price of this.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 15
  2. Now really,… this retro looking box did not show much in these videos. Pretty cheesy sounds. Might have powerful low end but in total I do not know whay I would need this box beside a Motif XF, NI KOMPLETE ULTIMATE and NI Maschine…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11
  3. I have no strong opinions on the sound, but the name reminds me of that execrable Coors “Beer Wolf” ad campaign from 20 years ago. Whoever thought that was a good idea should have their marketing license revoked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7
  4. Why must every drum machine video demo start with quarter notes on the kick at 120? And if you’re going to put a bass line, can you please use good notes instead of random weird lines?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 6
    • Because most people buying it will make music built around “quarter notes on the kick at 120″.

      Just sayin’.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  5. It looks interesting but there’s no way I would make any kind of judgement based on these videos. The presentation is too distracting (Can I see the front panel please??) and the sound quality is not very good.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  6. Looks like a fun cheap instrument. I can’t wait to plug one of these up to a pedal board and get funky.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3
  7. What a pity: extremely boring videos. extremely boring concept and sound… hellllooooo! We dont want another 808 909 303 !!!! We want a new, other and fresh sound. Is this really so complicated… Good bye Akai.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11
    • “We dont want another 808 909 303 !!!! ”

      And yet everybody complains when new drum machines “don’t sound 808/909 enough”….

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3
  8. Nothing spectacular in the video. I imagine if you had a good selection of quality effects units and pedals you could work something interesting with the raw sound if it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  9. this is pretty anticlimactic.
    funny thing is – affordable analog drum boxes are a thing for some time now.
    MFB 503, 522, all sound bloody great and can be had for just above 100€.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
    • Most of them lack accents though, and this finally has ACCENTS and also it sounds just normal, not crisp or flat or anything, just what a random drumcomputer should sound like. I’m so glad Akai is taking this step of keeping the spirit alive instead of trying to create some hip cult nobody wants to listen as Korg did.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9
  10. huh, that was interesting. doesn’t sound like a tr-x0x at all (or like its trying to be). don’t know what I think about it. might be worth it just for the sequencer.

    also, the people repping the mfb boxes must not have tried to use one. sounded great, sync was so bad on my mfb 522 as to be totally unusable. plus the interface was painful. someone else up there mentioned a dr-110, great sounding box, sync out, no sync in, bizarre interface. I would argue playability and the ability to use an instrument with others is often more important than sound. This is why the electribes, volcas, and monotribe are so excellent. this looks very nice is that respect.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  11. The kick has no balls…. sure they gave it bass, but the kickdrum punches like a 2 year old on tranquilizers. The rest of the analog sounds are typical, but not anything that grabs the ear. Some people might have a good use for it, but it’s too niche and not enough punch to it for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
  12. Great to hear the Rhythm Wolf; warm natural sound with a woody tone…much better than I had expected…
    Rhythm Wolf is smooth (boring???;-) vintage and the Volca Bass is edgy acid (Vive la difference)…
    The Wolf is a low cost TB303 plus drums and the Volca is a low cost Korg MonoSynth plus sequencer.
    (as for MFB522 sync issues, holding the play button down while powering on to switch between ext and int sync worked fine on mine…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  13. Inital pre-orders have shipped and guys on GearSlutz are reporting a number of quality issues. The bass is consistently out of tune and can’t seem to get in to tune. A few other reports of the main out going bad. This is after like two days.

    Not good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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