Big Black Delta and Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf

Jonathan Bates, aka Big Black Delta, talks about how he uses the Akai Professional Rhythm Wolf sounds, pads, and sequencer in his work.

Bates calls the Rhythm Wolf “a cool departure for Akai,” his “new favorite little box:”

“People aren’t using presets anymore; it’s all about starting from scratch as far as sound design. It used to be sample-based and now it’s more like, ‘I’m starting with a square wave’, and where do I go from there?”

Rhythm Wolf Highlights:

  • 5-voice analog drum machine and synth-authentic analog design that references classic rhythm machines and synthesizers
  • True 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
  • Independent audio outputs: dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth bass module for more precise mixing
  • Dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass

Pricing and Availability. The Akai Professional Rhythm Wolf, which is supposed to be available sometime this month, has a suggested price of about $200. More information available on the Akai Pro website.

53 thoughts on “Big Black Delta and Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf

  1. Why is this guy talking like he was born last week and has never read anything older than ten years? “As far as i knew Akai just made controllers?” sure after 2006………”32 patterns could be your whole set.” ….if you’re boring. “I’ve been using it with a DAW.” ….OH JEEZ Why didn’t I think of that?

    1. 1. He said “As far as I knew, at Akai it was more controller-based stuff”, which is true. They have more controller-based products than anything else and that’s what their mainly known for. Not everyone knows every company’s catalog by heart, y’know. Who cares that this guy didn’t?

      2. 32 patterns is good enough for a whole set. It’s not like you can’t change those patterns on the fly anyway. Just have something basic at first and then add/subtract whatever you need as you go. I’m not sure if he knows that, but it’s not a bad idea.

      3. Not everyone uses DAWs. He just thought it was a plus that he could sync up his drum machine to his computer right away instead of having to drag out cables and hook it up. He possibly lose the great idea he had in his head if he doesn’t have a quick and easy way to record it. It might not matter to anyone who doesn’t get one, but it matters to the artist/producer who uses it, which is why the feature is there.

  2. They shouldn’t have made the first half of the advertisement sound so good. That way in the second half where you hear the RW it wouldn’t sound so dull.

  3. “you can control the tune of it, and the mix of it.. so i can essentially do anything i want”

    YOU CAN CONTROL THE TUNE? AAAND THE MIX?? WOW THATS FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE!! AMAZING!

  4. I am actually pretty psyched about the Rhythm Wolf – because it’s a $200 analog drum machine! What’s not to like about that?

    I wish they’d do a video that really showcased how this sounds, though. A lot of the times on this video, it sounded like they were using on camera sound, instead of direct from the drum machine.

    1. Con: It looks hideous, has cheap plastic knobs, an awful thin synth voice and a snare that sounds like wet spaghetti being thrown on a tile floor. The howl knob just makes things noisy and ugly and the kick just isn’t punchy.

      Pro: It’s cheap.

    2. We’re at the point where people defend SHIT just because it’s “analog.” “Oh, it’ll sound good if you put a Strymon pedal and a Culture Vulture on it!” So will most $200 devices with $3500 worth of hardware on them. If this was digital, everybody would laugh at how bad it sounds, but because it has keyword: ANALOG on it, we’re supposed to go gaga over it. Sorry. Shit sound is still shit sound, whichever way you slice it.

      1. And just so you know where I’m coming from, I’m a longtime AKAI lover, my first product being their S612 sampler back in 1985. They are not the same company today. Not by a long shot.

  5. I haven’t seen a video for the RW yet that SELLS the RW. The majority of this video was Mr. Bates talking. If Akai wants to send me one I’ll make a video about the RW that will sell it. If it’s “sell-able”…. LOL

  6. I use and mpc 2500 started of on S950’s.
    You cant beat hardware , I see quite a few people moving away from the softsynths.
    Hardware is where it is at for me, always was, always will be.

    1. I like it. Very noisy/distorted sound, but that can be cool. I will check it out. It should be more in the Volca price range though. I guess it will get there after a while.

    2. That is really saturated, I don’t know what the guy is doing but the howl knob look like is not doing much. Maybe it’s clipping in a mixer or sound card after the machine cuz I’ve heard other videos with much more clean sound, saturated ones too but here the howl knob looks like is almost all the way down.

      Anyway it looks and sound like fun machine to abuse for me, guitar and bass pedals will probably be a good friend of that too.

  7. To launch this they could pay U2 $100m to programme seqs from their new music experiment, without the ability to remove or overwrite the patterns – what is wrong with that?

  8. It seems really canned and scripted. You can almost tell that the dudes a little ashamed or something but we’ve all gotta make those dollar bills. I hope he was payed well. Integrity doesn’t pay rent.

    So far the wolf sounds “alright” but I do like the idea of using it as a simple hardware sequencer.

    p.s. that snare is fucking ugly sounding in that video posted above.

    1. true it sounds better, but what i dont understand with all the moaning, isnt the fun of analog drum machines to extensivly use effects on it ? on a per-voice level?

      like putting the kick trough a distortion pedal and an eq the snare through a compressor the hihat through a pingpong delay, or whatever?

      i mean dont get me wrong i dont like the design, the sound the material and the company akai after it was bought by hamann, but who would use raw tracks from a cheap analog drummachine ? ^^

      i use a machinedrum for drums, while not analogue, i always use all the single outs and kick goes through an alembic fx1 all the time for example

      this should be used just for creating the basic sound an envelope to use it together with other devices.

      and thats where the volca lacks with a single stereo output

  9. maybye akai s whole salespitch is based on really really bad sounding utube examples.. So we all be like NOO IT GOTTA BE POSSIBLE TO GET A G))D SOUND OUT OF IT>> I M ORDERING ONE>>> :))

    1. you got a problem with people speaking their mind? oh no thats too bad

      if you want to boss people around, go have some kids or something

  10. It is depressing how there are so many buttholes like this guy who think they know synths but they are just morons! Akai has been a huge part of the evolution of syntheaizers , samplers and outboard processors like their analogue tack filters!!! I wish it was still the 90’s when synth freaks were in the underground and [email protected] like this buttwipe didn’t exist. #iamSynthFreak

  11. Not to add any more nerd out negativity but I thought his comment about the importance of the snare sound was interesting.. And then paid closer attention to the snares I hear in his track which sound more like linn drum or sequential circuits drumtacks samples than “built from scratch.”.. Nor does the snare on the akai wolf really sound that great or inspiring…
    little bit of false “snare sound” advertising in there..

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