Hands On With The Timbre Wolf Analog Synthesizer & Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine

Akai Pro shared this new video demo that features the Timbre Wolf polyphonic analog synthesizer and their Tom Cat drum machine.

In this video, INHALT explores the sound and sequencing features of the Timbre Wolf and the Tom Cat.

The Timbre Wolf is a full-size analog polysynth, with a street price of about US $400. Its key feature is that it can be used as four independent monophonic synths, each with its own settings, sequences and audio output.

The Tom Cat is an all-analog 5-voice drum machine, with a street price of $200, that offers kick, snare, claps, hi-hats, and a ‘Disco Tom’ section with chromatic tunability

41 thoughts on “Hands On With The Timbre Wolf Analog Synthesizer & Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine

    1. i watched the whole video myself…and im still trying to figure out what the “one thing” it does pretty well is that you describe

  1. After purchasing the rhythm wolf on a whim….

    no way. no how. Akai needs to give up and get back to making hardware MPCs.

    These things are marginally better than the rhythm wolf, and they still are horrible.

    I ended up giving my rhythm wolf away to my little nephew… after trying to sell it for $50 with no takers. I’m starting to think that Akai is pranking us… like this is some sort of cruel social experiment.

    I have yet to see one positive review of these synths/drum machines. That says a lot…

    1. “….I’m starting to think that Akai is pranking us… like this is some sort of cruel social experiment…..”

      this made my day !!!!

    2. I would’ve bought it from you for that, heck, even a little more. It’s a shame….. Oh well, I like certain things about it, I would like to get one.

    1. problem is itchy…they will walk away from the “analog” experience and say “well we did Analog, during the whole hype…and bottom line is the board of directors said that it didnt sell. So ….we cant focus on Analog any more, the sales just arent there…”.. when it had nothing to do with a lack of interest in analog, just because their offerings are CRAP.

      but of course this is rarely admitted inside corporations

      1. ive found that, in the corporate world, this is the difference between having an environment where failure is acceptable, and half-assery is tolerated.

      2. Well, if they care to pay attention, they have Korg’s numbers to demonstrate that it’s not just that analog doesn’t sell.

        A few of the Akai analog instruments seem to be finding a market among people who like really idiosyncratic (read: dysfunctional) instruments because they can provide unique sounds. And fortunately for those folks, it’s pretty likely that they can get a good deal on these things used.

        But hey, once upon a time, no one wanted the 303, and we saw what happened there. So who the hell knows?

    1. To me, that’s the most interesting part of this synth—the sorta SEM style voice allocation. Sadly, the comparisons end there.

  2. comparing this to the minilogue… haha akai, you are FUCKED

    korg just killin it… wow, great stuff – now everyone else actually has to make an effort

  3. I think it says an awful lot that none of the major sites / magazines have given these a review yet and even Akai have waited months after they hit the shops before releasing this.

    Korg have released several videos and there have been at least 2 20+minutes reviews of the Minilogue and it’s only just been announced.

    And the Tom Cat seems to be hidden away meekly in the background. I wonder why that might be…..perhaps it’s more of a Scaredy Cat.

    1. Im with you. The tones have a lot more character. I like both, but the minilogue is so thin, and the filter isn’t so great. You might as well buy a digital.

      1. The monologue IS digital. Its a digital analog cross over that it has a digital portion to its construction. In my experience hybrid anything, be it the tube powered Korg Electribe, or the Roland JD-XI, etc ALL sound stale. This may be a darker sounding analog synth, but it does sound analog and I can treat it with tube compression and delay to thicken and brighten to what I see fit. This saves me from having to drop thousands of dollars for high end analog polyphony.

  4. oh dear. This is like watching a car-crash in slow motion…”see i am turning this knob….whoops, no difference in sound…lemme try this knob….whoops still sounds the same…well heres the sound it makes. The End..”

    .the LAST thing you want Akai is to demonstrate the terrible sound of these “instruments”…youd be much better off with sales by deleting every demo from the face of the planet and hoping some uninformed poor soul purchases purely on looks or specs.

    One perfect example where full-sized keys on a new analog offering (instead of mini or 88%) means….nothing.

  5. timbre wolf; i tried this at a store. i used the autotune function. turning knobs and almost nothing happens. always slightly out of tune – it is broken by design!

    … and then i tried the TOMCAT and WOW this really is overlooked because the wolves were so bad!
    The kick with pitch envelope can do everything from low booms to thight kicks, the snare hits extremely hard with a kind of metal timbre, the hats are what u expect and the toms are cheesy but in a nice “vintage” way.

    Drop the wolves – but give the cat a chance!

  6. Akai please put this engine in a volca format and sell it for 149$ 🙂

    nobody needs keys today sorry if I use keys I use my master keyboard with 88 keys…

  7. I like this synth. I like the rhythm wolf. They are fat and dirty, but not unpleasantly noisey. With a little compression, my wolf sounds great. Getting it used for half price is a bonus. If these were made by a small company in germany, opinions of them would be completely different.

    1. I totally agree I love my Rhythm Wolf and Tom Cat, run ’em through different pedals, mixer, sequencers and into different amps. I’ll live drum along side them with the meeblip I can get retro 80s soundtrack to black metal sounds, Its a blast.

  8. I am waiting for the price to drop just a little more. The guys at guitar center, for example, can’t and won’t sell these along with Arturse’s Mini and Microbrutes because they don’t get it. Naysayers really bum me out, like it doesn’t sound like super expensive boutique style synth engines, okay. Are you making a better product? Is your music that great? Richard Devine gets down with these things thats pretty awesome. The sequencing alone makes these worth the money in my opinion. But whatever, right?

    1. Guys at GC were REALLY trashing these devices, and then they tried talking me into buying lifeless mpc controller that won’t work unless hooked up to my computer with the plugin running. Do people not understand the charm of standalone units anymore? I work with computers all day long. The last thing I want to do is play one as an instrument when I get off work.

      1. Buy a MicroBrute — those are amazing and unique and are nothing at all like a computer. If you have a little more money, buy a Minilogue, or a Moog Mother-32, or an MS-20 Mini, or a Cyclone TT-303. Like triggering samples? The Volca Sample is easy to do simple stuff with, but has some interesting, unique aspects to it. Hell, buy a Monotribe — that is a seriously idiosyncratic little instrument to play with.

        But I wouldn’t recommend buying this unless I’d tried some more successful analog instruments and really knew why I liked it or unless it were on dirt-cheap clearance.

  9. I just got one of these for 200$ earlier and I don’t understand all the hate… It has simple controls but you can still achieve a solid variety of very thick analog tones! Some things are strange about it like the cycling poly mode but that just adds to its unique charm! With the simple controls its easy to dial in 4 identical voices anyways, or 4 fairly distinct ones to play funky chords with.

    Like was said the sequencer alone is pretty solid for the price. It is a lot of fun live editing the 4 voices individually in mono mode for 4 16 step sequencers stacked or 1 super thick 16 step in unison mode.

    The controls are very interactive too so you can get a nice variety of sounds for how simple it is.

    This thing is seriously loud! Plugged into my bass amp I had to keep the volume pretty low and it still was pretty damn thick. The howl is a very handy built in OD which really adds to the versatility.

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