Akai Pro Intros $500 Timbre Wolf Four-Voice Analog Synthesizer

akai-Timbre_Wolf

At the 2015 NAMM Show, Akai Professional today announced the Timbre Wolf analog synthesizer.

The Timbre Wolf is an analog 4-voice polyphonic synthesizer that recalls the earliest polyphonic synthesizers. The Timbre Wolf has four independent analog voices that can be configured as

  • 4 mono synths
  • a 4-voice unison monosynth; or
  • a 4-voice polysynth,

The user can easily customize the sound of each voice independently as they play.

Other features:

  • Professional quality 25-key custom Akai Pro keybed..
  • 32-step sequencer for each of the four voices
  • LED display
  • Octave +/- controls

The Akai Pro Timbre Wolf is priced at $500 and is expected to be available this summer.

76 thoughts on “Akai Pro Intros $500 Timbre Wolf Four-Voice Analog Synthesizer

        1. They were thinking “how can we get rid of all these chips we had made for this shit drum machine? Oh wiat! Well put four chips in a synth!

          I expect eventually they’ll just bury them in the desert in Mexico.

    1. Comparing this to the Oberheim 2 voice is totally apples and oranges. A hand made fully analog synth from a boutique manufacturer with a knob per button interface, vs. an assembly-line mass produced slab synth with a minimal UI… of course one is going to be less expensive than the other.
      Honestly, do you really expect this toy from Akai (which will discontinue it in short order once it doesn’t meet their sales goals) to compare sonically and price-wise to one of the best analog synths ever to be designed? Let’s be real here !!

  1. Guess they’re going with a new ‘program by intuition’ thing without labels for those pots!
    This thing looks mega basic, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Looks from the albeit low rez photo to have the exact same layout per voice as the rhythm wolf, meaning no LFO and very limited envelope. I look forward to hearing it, but judging off the photo it doesn’t seem so versatile.

  3. not sure how it sounds but not a fan of the aesthetic of it.
    happy someone made a poly style. but why akai?
    strange . might be cheapy

  4. I like the look, I like the name, I like the info so far, but considering what a colossal joke the Rhythm Wolf turned out to be, a few demos and reviews are needed before I throw any money towards the screen.

  5. Demo online already.

    Quote from Akai “We’ve taken the voicing of the Rhythm Wolf, and we’ve copied it four times”.

    And it sounds exactly as you would expect…

    1. “And it also has, of course, real simulated wood grain sides”.

      The sound of the Rhythm Wolf multiplied and REAL simulated wood, what’s not to want? (Seriously, the sound. Didn’t they learn when we actually got to hear how the Rhythm Wolf sounded?)

    2. I have never wanted a synth less than I want this one. It sounds like a Casio without the charm of Casios (yeah I kinda like old Casios). Horrible!

    1. You’d think all these companies would at least pick presenters who had taken the time to play at least a little bit. This is a bit like selling cars and knowing how to turn on the turn signals and windshield wiper but not knowing how to drive.

  6. can it do polyrhythms (different tracks – different lenghs, i.e. one track 21 steps, the next 28 steps, the next one 32 or something like that) ?
    if it could sequence these to the midi out, that would already be very good, even if the sounds aren’t nice.

  7. This looks and sounds like shit to me. I’d rather have a mono synth with more features and better sound than a poly that you can barely modify. More like the Deforestation Wolf.

  8. Worst demo ever! Honestly, for a $500 polysynth I didn’t expect much, but this is ridiculous. He could have at least played on it´s strengths, meaning a four voice monster bass patch or something it does well. Or maybe a four voice sequence that actually sounds musical.

    Any way, Sequential is back!

  9. “Sorry, I can’t play,” followed shortly by “Sorry, it’s not in tune.”

    Sorry, it sounds terrible.

    I really am excited about Akai’s analog path, but they just have not turned in anything that makes you say “wow, that sounds incredible – I need to have that.”

    Once there’s an “I Need That” product, the price becomes less important. Consider not designing around hard low price points and bring out a super-featured mono synth that really turns heads, and the market will allow for something that costs more than $500 (but less than 1k.)

  10. on a plus note the sequencing side seems use able
    there just at the bottom of the learning curve analogue voice wise,maybe in 2020 they’ll build something kick ass

  11. It will be mine!! If you listen “between” the shitty playing the Timbre Wolf actually offers some really nice sounds! Also: it has auto tuning built in? Awesome! Not to forget the single outs and what appears to be a howl knob like on the Rhythm Wolf (which sounds outstanding, by the way)!

  12. …And not to mention the horrible blue on grey letters, and vice versa. It’s just unreadable. I don’t understand that companies don’t pay more attention about that. Says a lot about Akai I think. ”Fuck it, just sell it, our costumers are dumb kids anyway.”

  13. There’s a sonic state video and it sound so bad I felt embarassed for the demo guy. The filter is so feeble you can hear his confusion as he turns the cutoff and the -2db per octave attenuates … something. Then he turns up the resonance and the sound fades away to nothing and he tries to claim it’s some sort of bandpass. Oh god.

    http://youtu.be/gnaaO_hCXfo

  14. I hate writing negative comments, but with all due respect, this was an awful video demonstration. You’ve got class-act players at Yamaha, Roland, and Korg demo’ing their instruments, Akai should really up their game, unless this product is an afterthought…
    I searched for another video, and I am afraid to say, not much better:
    http://youtu.be/gnaaO_hCXfo

  15. Serious question. I can’t use a 2-octave keyboard, even for baselines. Let’s say I want play something funky in C. I might want to go from a low Bb to an Eb an 11th higher, but I can’t do that without transposing. I can use a 2-octave keyboard to check sounds as I make them, which is why the Micro-brute’s keyboard is useful to me. (I then perform on it with a MIDI controller.) But to have a regular-siazed keyboard which is two octaves is like having coffee beans without a grinder–just a waste of space. Are there really a bunch of people who can make the music they want on a two-octave controller? Doesn’t it limit the phrases you can play?

  16. Serious question. I can’t use a 2-octave keyboard, even for baselines. Let’s say I want play something funky in C. I might want to go from a low Bb to an Eb an 11th higher, but I can’t do that without transposing. I can use a 2-octave keyboard to check sounds as I make them, which is why the Micro-brute’s keyboard is useful to me. (I then perform on it with a MIDI controller.) But to have a regular-siazed keyboard which is two octaves is like having coffee beans without a grinder–just a waste of space. Are there really a bunch of people who can make the music they want on a two-octave controller? Doesn’t it limit the phrases you can play?

    1. I think 2 octaves is the legal minimum for a playable bass and lead synth. It’s confining, but with monophonic analog it’s not unworkable. 3 would really be much better.

      But for poly, 3 is the minimum. 3 is incredibly limiting for chords – you just can’t get a low root bass note with a high triad with only 37 keys between the highest and lowest.

      So the 25-key Timbre Wolf is in violation of the law of poly keybeds. Which is why I think this is more like a 4-osc monosynth. No one is going to be playing big heavenly pads on it – the voices are just too simple. And the lack of a master voice control means this is going to be an oddity that is embraced by a pack of eccentrics and few others.

  17. Oh my!!!!! The video are terrible, it must be a joke, this is the worst sounding instrument I’ve ever heard, it’s so apart that it will breed new music genres hahahhahahahahaah

    1. Hahaha, yeah, thatwould be fun. Or a new festival: (Fake plastic) Wood(en) (Sides) Stock! With: The Detuned Howling Wolves, The Colorless Timbres, Earbleeding Tomcat Empire, and of course as the main headliner…. Hair!

  18. I tried this at the NAMM show. The main issue with the Timbre Wolf, in my opinion (beyond the sound quality), is that IT LACKS THE ABILITY TO STORE PRESETS. So even if you manage to dial up some cool sounds on it, there is no way to replicate it quickly. You need to take a photo of the dial positions with your phone to reproduce your settings. Which makes this almost useless in a performance setting, as you’d have to dial knobs to get specific sounds out of it.

  19. Its not able to scale a single octave, just imagine the drift problems if they tried to push it beyond 2.

    This is the only wolf confimed to blow harder than the one from the childrens fairytales.

  20. Well, it’s right the demos were made like shooting at their feet!
    But I’ve got one for a week.
    It’s a really decent little thing (for the price: Brand new for 200€).
    Sounds as good as any Roland shit, just in a percussive way (have to note this, please: you can’t afford a Memmy or a P5 for that price), fully analog audio path, and on the edge of every control, you get a really good sound!
    Ok the sequencer seems somewhat esoteric, and it lacks at least a vibrato.
    But did you note the unusual behaviour of those filters, that touch into Bandpass when opening the resonance?
    That’s GOOOOOD, guys!

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