Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf Demo

This video, via colectivotriangular, is a short demo of Akai’s new analog drum machine and bass synth, the Rhythm Wolf

Demo details:

Almost everything was recorded in realtime. External delay effect used on the bass line. The bassline in the first part of the video was added afterwards.

Subwoofer or headphones recommended.

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 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
  • 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

The Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf has a street price of about $200.

47 thoughts on “Akai Pro Rhythm Wolf Demo

  1. Last I saw this I was very skeptical, but now it seems like a decent one-stop shop for acid house. Not great mind you, but decent. Your mileage may vary, obviously.

    1. Yeah..the bass is passable and the hats are OK but the kick is meh and the snare is just weak. However, for $200 I don’t think it’s a total moss – you’d have an OK sequencer for other gear, or you could plug it into a cheapo mixer with some onboard FX, crank up the gain on the drum channel, and get some rough-textured beats out of it. In fairness, it’s a lot more capable than a Korg Monotribe for not much more money….but Akai timed it badly. If this had come out 2 years ago people would be a lot more tolerant of its shortcomings, meantime Korg has already made gear that delivers more for less money.

      Most people would be better off with a couple of Korg Volcas or a used digital groovebox of some kind. The most interesting thing about the RW right now is the size, which might make it very good for modifying/circuit bending.

  2. I want to like this but based on the videos I’ve seen so far I’d have to have some hands-on. Depending on the price of the new Korg products this one may be too little, too late.

  3. I like how it sounds, much more than the Volca drums. I think i’s great for the price, even if it only had the CV sequencer and drum machine. Hell, I’d get it only for the wooden side panels 🙂

    1. I have an 60’s Organ with drum machine, and he sound much better than this one. Akai developers must have an ear problem. What’s this poor snare and kick sound ! Don’t sound like analog stuff.

  4. they probably should have gone for some kind of arduino or chip type thing at this price point.. because they didnt pull off the analog thing very well… it sounds crap, really

  5. This things looks like a lot of fun!
    It’s going up against the Aira line and the new Electribes – but for the money and the pure analog engine, it should do well. If it was just a drum machine it might feel underwhelming. But that built-in bass synth makes it much more appealing and instantly gives you old school groove value.
    Doing less but doing it well in a 1:1 UI is a way to earn fans.

    1. It’s really more of a Volca beats competitor. They’re both under $200, while the Aira and Electribes are double that – so you expect them to do more.

  6. Man, we’ve waited since April for THIS?

    Analog drums are personal to the listener, I think, so all respect to those who like this, but to me the drums sound like crap. Actually, the analog bass synth sounds better than I thought it would, but the options for cheapo analog bass synths are pretty limitless at this point.

    Actually if this comes out and flops, a second-hand unit for $100-$150 might make a good intro drum machine/sequencer/simple analog synth unit for someone just starting out with electronic music. They’d quickly turn it over for something better, though.

  7. dont like the sound AT ALL

    drums sounded like 8bit samples to me, the snare is horrible! the bass synth, well iam not into acid basses so i will skip that, but the design!!

    it has written “wannabe” all over it, the sound the design its like i feel for the aira line somehow

    1. There’s a marking under the 1st, 5th, 9th and 13th LEDs, so I don’t think that’s a problem. I have a bunch of elektron gera and have never found this a problem, even though the panel labels are far away from the LEDs (and thus basically invisible in low light).

  8. Still sounding crap. Wanna like it since it’s akai and it’s cheap and it’s analog and has bass synth and.. Korg has new gadgets that sound super and do super and don’t cost too much either. IMO akai shouldn’t release this at all unless they’re going to make it better.

  9. i like it, it has a nice sound although i do have a soft spot for the oldschool organ rhythm box style sounds, the bass synth is usable, i wouldn’t personally want it to be a desert island box, but in a group with other machines it would be a lot of fun and add some spice, i’d love to play with it alongside the volca sampler

    1. I’m with you in this one, I wonder if it’s a music genre issue, that perhaps dance music makers who want their 808s aren’t liking it, but people with other tastes are loving it?

    1. this is not a fuggin hi-fidelity shoot out where i need to A/B two sources and appreciate the nuances of the audio spectrum. we do have ears yknow, to access a character of a piece of hardware.
      this sounds like shite and has much in common with your comment.

    2. If you need Funktion Ones to appreciate the kick drum Akai seriously messed up their pricing strategy.
      All of this Wolf business sounds weak indeed. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so boring.

    3. News flash for you… Any music you make will be heard by people on YouTube, so you’d better pick gear that sounds good on YouTube!

  10. For analog it’s all very cold sounding. Every demo has sounded cold and flat to me. You’re better off with something super cheap like an MFB Nanozwerg and a VST or iOs app for beats.

  11. Was originally interested of this, but unfortunately it doesn’t sound one bit good to me. Sigh, have to start saving for Analog Rytm, I suppose…

  12. That is actually really attractive, the drums don’t sound too genre /dance specific. And hopefully the bass is flexible enough to do other things since I have a tonne of bass synths already. I’m in the market for a good drum machine…

  13. nice piece of kit..would fit in nice sonically alongside/layered with other drummachines.-none of my drummachines ( 909,Tanzbar,R8mk2,RY30) can sound like this..good music can come out of this..and individual outs for only 2 bills..

  14. The skeptics really do seem to be looking at this device purely through the lens of their own genres and production tastes. A lot more can be done with any device than what we typically see in short demos. This demo is the obvious result of the creator’s skillset and tastes and provides a look at what the raw sounds are without much, if any, tweaking. The RW sounds pretty much exactly how I expected it would, and it’s funny that some folks here are championing the Volcas, as the kick sounds fairly similar to the Volca Beats but more precise. I think the Volca Beats sounds terrible, but I can admit that there are a ton of folks out there that are making great sounds with it. It really makes no sense to shit on this while championing the Volcas. Take off your blinders. It’s also funny that so many people are making a ridiculous comparison with Elektron gear. There’s no comparison there, but I can’t wait to pair a Rhythm Wolf with my Elektron Analog 4. They will complement each other and my workflow brilliantly.

  15. The bass is sound and the bass drum isn’t weak. But am not too happy with the other sounds. They all sound too simmiler. I suspect there will be some third party mods done this machine. Positive no . Midi appears transmit on channel ten for drum which I suspect you could apply a device with general midi. Synced this already to a Roland. And was delighted mute and live step sequence tr sounds via this. Effectively for example. Who this a old akai sampler and you could get tr707 sounds for example and play this with a nice acid house synth. Great for 150quid I reckon

    1. The kick sucks, lets face it, it just won’t decay long or fast enough. and although the snap is decent, we really need an attack theta punches through a mix, not a half-assed “Blop”

      To any future groove box makers, We want to be able to use the kick on more than one type of song, some times we need a boomy kick some a tight one, give us what we need to do that or don’t bother.

      Snare on this thing? Well, I like it better than the volca, but again that always detectable pitch…annoying, for god sakes scramble those harmonics and just give us a frigging snare, your not the 808, your never going to be, so just try to be as useful with the basics as possible

  16. Creativity is powerful, the things I can do with this. You can not appreciate the potential this unit has on you tube. I went to G C and heard it for myself. My unit should be here this weekend. And a bit of advice for the judges, think outside the box and CREATE music with any sound. We as producers should be able to take any sound and make it shine. Stop crying and create. Challenge youselves and create music with the sound Of two cats fighting on a tin roof.

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