AKAI’S BARK IS BETTER THAN ITS BYTES
Just prior to NAMM lots of people got excited by Roland’s impending AIRA release as a new generation TR-808, but got a bit squinty-eyed when AIRA was revealed as a digital device. Akai Pro won’t risk disappointing hard core drum machine enthusiasts with its new Rhythm Wolf, a fully analogue drum and bass synthesizer module with a built-in sequencer – and it’s threatening a sub US$200 price tag in the States (feel free to do the AUS$ maths yourself). Rhythm Wolf promises to be an authentic analogue instrument that combines the “coveted sounds of early electronic and hip-hop music with genuine Akai Professional workflow”. You get six genuine MPC pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, and drum patterns can be fine-tuned using the Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob – which isn’t a lot to get excited about, but in keeping with the retro analogue design. A custom distortion signal path, activated by the “Howl” knob (what else?), adds grit and character. Connections include USB-MIDI, MIDI In/Out, a gate trigger, and two audio outputs for mixing percussion sounds and bass independently. There’s no info on www.akaipro.com yet. Shouldn’t be long.
Australian Distributor: Electric Factory www.elfa.com.au