As most of us know by now, analogue is totally "in". This is what the modern musician want - gutsy, warm, vintage-sounding gear. This doesn't necessarily mean "retro" - modern features are always welcome! This is why the two new releases by Akai, the Tom Cat Analogue Drum-Machine and the Timbre Wolf Analogue Synth, fit perfectly with what musicians want today, and should be really popular in 2015...
The two new electronic instruments announced by Akai at NAMM Show, which ended last weekend, offer authentic analog sound, giving musicians ability to create traditional ‘gutsy’ sound.
Last year's Rhythm Wolf surprised everyone, as an affordable analogue drum-machine and bass synthesizer put together in one compact device. It seems Akai decided to develop those two sides even further, and the way to go was to create two separate instruments!
The Akai Tom Cat is an exciting true analog drum machine with five built-in percussion voices, including Kick, Snare, and Clap sounds with chromatically tunable Disco Toms. It gives you vintage-style beats that should keep any fan of old TR-808's happy, but is designed very much with the modern musician in mind.
Onboard controls—all continuously variable—enable users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment. Outfitted with six MPC-style pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, Tom Cat provides an ultraresponsive interface with a classic drum machine layout.
Drum patterns can be fine-tuned using the Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob. A custom signal path, activated by its unique “Maul” circuitry, lets the user ‘dirty up’ their drum beats for just the right effect.
The Akai Timbre Wolf is an authentic analog 4-voice polyphonic synthesizer. Configurable as 4 mono synths, a 4-voice unison or a 4-voice polysynth, Timbre Wolf includes a professional quality 25- key custom Akai Pro keybed. The user can easily customize the sound of each voice independently as they play, and there is a 32-step sequencer for each voice. An LED display and Octave +/- controls add further control and flexibility for the user. Timbre Wolf adds a distinctive, convincing traditional voice to any musician’s repertoire of tools.
Akai Professional Product Manager Dan Gill notes:
“With our new introductions of Timbre Wolf and Tom Cat, we’ve put those classic analog synthesizer and drum machine sounds directly into the hands of today’s musicians. Our goal was to make a compact analog polyphonic synthesizer /keyboard and an analog multi-voice drum machine that easily integrate with both modern and vintage music equipment, so musicians could effortlessly bring that great analog sound into their music. That’s what these two do and the creative potential they open up is endless.”
By Ivan Silva