All-new Rhythm Wolf is a simple analogue drum machine at a very affordable price point.


We didn’t see this one coming. Akai has been best known for digital gear recently, from the S-series samplers to the MPC workstations. Akai did make a few (quite underrated) analogue synths back in the 80s but given how they’ve focused so heavily on digital hardware for the last 25 years or so, we’d never have guessed they’d be the next company to jump on the affordable analogue hardware bandwagon.

The Rhythm Wolf is a 5-voice analogue drum machine with built-in sequencer and bass synth capabilities. The spec is remarkably impressive given the $200/£160 price point. There’s MIDI in and out over USB and DIN, individual outs for the drum and synth circuits, plus six MPC-style pads on the front panel.

In Akai’s words: The Rhythm Wolf is an authentic analog instrument that combines the coveted sounds of early electronic and hip-hop music with genuine Akai Professional workflow. Inspired by the classic analog beat machines and synthesizers of the past, Rhythm Wolf enables today’s musicians to harness iconic analog sounds for music production and performance. The drum machine consists of five highly-tweakable drum sounds and includes a kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion. Onboard controls allow users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment. The bass synthesizer features a selectable oscillator (sawtooth or square wave), classic filter design, a filter envelope with variable decay, and is capable of creating powerful bass sounds and squelchy leads.

Could the Rhythm Wolf be a Volca beater? We’ll find out this summer when it goes on sale.

Check out all of Akai’s new offerings – including the APC40 MKII – at the company’s MusikMesse sub-site.

12th March, 2014


  • Reminiscent of a Jomox XBASE09. Individual outs & a seemingly good amount of control… If the sequencer is up to scratch I think this will be a killer.

  • Hopefully this sounds good. Analog doesn’t automatically mean it will be usable in a dance mix, unfortunately.

  • The size keeps me away from the Volcas. If this is as large as it seems I’d get one . It’s only $200.

  • I think I`ll give it a try, even though I`m planning to get myself Elektron Rytm

  • Hmm, a pair of mono outs for drums and bass, doesn’t really constitute “individual outs” but at least Numark were kind enough to leave space for the obvious modification.

    It’s not going to rock the Tanzbar, but at £160 it sure aint supposed to. And as cheap, meaninglessly branded toys go – it’ll probably be incredibly fun (bless it’s cute plastic cheeks)

    That said, put a clap/rim on it Numark, FFS!


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