Akai Timbre Wolf Review


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My name is Brennan Galley and I was the Canadian Technical Sales Manager for inMusic Canada. I toured Canada coast to coast to show musicians how to use innovative instruments, DJ and music production equipment.  One of the companies I represented was Akai Professional, and a product I toured with was the Timbre Wolf.

Akai Timbre Wolf Review

The Timbre Wolf from Akai Professional is an analogue synthesizer with an onboard step sequencer that can record your performance live.  The Timbre Wolf is all synth.  The Tom Cat and the Rhythm Wolf, also from Akai, work in the same fashion but offer up drum sounds.  The Rhythm Wolf and the Timbre Wolf share the same synth oscillator, and Tom Cat is a straight up drum machine.

Timbre Wolf – Mono Mode

The Timbre Wolf has four identical oscillators on it, each one with its own controls that can be adjusted to find the sound you want.  When the Timbre Wolf is in Mono mode you can select one sound at a time by pushing ‘select’ at the bottom of each channel.  This will give you four different tones that are instantly recallable.

In this video I demonstrate how to toggle through each oscillator.

Timbre Wolf – Poly Mode

Poly mode will cycle through each oscillator with every key played.  In Poly mode you can voice four-note chords, with each note utilizing its own oscillator channel.  By using the pitch controls you can also set it up to have single keys toggle and voice multiple notes.

In this video I demonstrate how the Timbre Wolf cycles through the different oscillators.

Timbre Wolf – Unison Mode

When you switch to Unison mode you will voice all four analogue oscillators simultaneously. It will voice one single note at a time and behave like a mono synth, but will utilize four oscillators while doing so.  By being able to layer and adjust each oscillator you can dial up some pretty unique sounds.

In this video I demonstrate how the oscillators sound when the tuning of each is adjusted.

Timbre Wolf – Step Sequencer

The Timbre Wolf, the Rhythm Wolf and the Tom Cat all have their own step sequencer.  This means that you can program performances without having to use a computer.  There are two different ways to capture your song: you can strike a note and then press the buttons of the step sequencer to assign that note to a specific part of the song, or you can press record and the step sequencer will capture what you are playing live.  When you are writing a performance in the step sequencer and want a note to be sustained, hold down ‘tie’ and press the buttons on the step sequencer to lengthen how long the note is voiced.

Timbre Wolf Step Sequencer A Part and B Part.

Each Pattern has an A part and a B part available. What this means is that you can write two 16-beat sequences per Pattern and have the ability to instantly move around.  There are 16 Pattern slots available, so you can load up 32 custom sequences in the Timbre Wolf.  Another benefit is that you can hold shift and press Sequence Variation and it will automatically move from Part A to Part B.  This ultimately gives you a 32-part step sequencer.  In this video I demonstrate how to move around from Part A to Part B.

Timbre Wolf, Tom Cat, and Rhythm Wolf Midi Sync.

The Timbre Wolf, Tom Cat and Rhythm Wolf all have their own step sequencers.  They can also all connect together through their MIDI ports.  When you have everything connected through MIDI you can have all the sequencers running together with shared timing.  This gives you the ability to have multiple parts available to build your own songs, and also means you can create performable patterns without having to use a computer.  Utilizing mutes and solos along with the volume control of each oscillator sound source allows you to create your own performances that are adjustable on the fly.  In this video I show how to set up the sequencers to talk to each other and how to write and perform with them.

The Timbre Wolf offers a unique synth experience and is super affordable.  Whether you are looking to buy your first synth or looking to add to your collection, the Timbre Wolf, Tom Cat and Rhythm Wolf are solid choices.  If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below.  If you would like to set up a SKYPE tutorial please send an email to fiercemule@gmail.com