NAMM 2015: Akai releases Timbre Wolf and Tom Cat

Prior to NAMM 2015 Akai announced a new line up of keyboards, the Advance Keyboard. It looks like that wasn’t all from Akai, they have just announced 2 new analog products, the Timbre Wolf and Tom Cat. The Timbre Wolf is a 4 voice analog synthesizer while the Tom Cat is an analog drum machine similar to 2014’s Rhythm Wolf. Keep reading to find out if this analog gear is for you.

Timbre Wolf Analog Synthesizer

The 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.

We’re a fan of the vintage look and simple layout of the Timbre Wolf. For anyone looking for analog sound and more hands on control over their gear, this is something to keep your eye on.

A release date hasn’t been set but the Timbre Wolf will be $499 USD.

Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine

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. 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 ultra-responsive 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.

Producers have been preaching the gospel that analog hardware is superior to digital/vst instruments. The problem is that not everyone can afford analog hardware, especially vintage hardware like the Roland TR-808/909. It’s great to see Akai releasing analog hardware that’s accessible to new producers.

A release date hasn’t been set but the Tom Cat will be $199 USD.

More NAMM 2015 news and articles:



akaianalog drum machineanalog synthanalog synthesizerproduction hardwareTimbre WolfTom Cat
Comments (16)
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  • Jimmy Page

    I’ve looked at twenty of these videos or pretty close to…. i’ve played on these things since the mid 1970’s…. I own companies that make these things…. I invented midi , synth drum pads at the Toronto Science center….I played guitar with the greatest of the great…listen- some people say some silly stuff on que… stop! I ordered one of these and I want it by the first week of May.
    About the features…it’s kind of cool for psychedelic rock where you want to create an illusion…like time illusions so that the tracks of music “like” bend time space. It’s great also for club music… like different Techno s, ambient, trip-hop, acid house ,trance and brand new classic techno s, it’s great as a lead part in hard rock and metal….just the way they have it…it would also be great for jazz, and funk and funk house, disco…and for a small venue with another couple of pieces for heavy metal, blues , r & b, blues derivatives . ..tuned? Something , something… you can call out names at…it’s an effect that has no equal…alongside a string synth or electric guitar those mad strains of liquid honey – will it- bleed blood scintillating pop a dellica.Welcome to the age of Aquarius !

  • William Herrera

    The timbre Wolf uses the RWs same synth Setup x4 that’s 4 times crap sound. I returned my Wolf it was so bad. and Tuning OMG Tuning a synth in the 21st century? Oh there’s an app for that. No Unless Akai really does some reworking Save your money.

  • Brian

    I tried the Timbre Wolf. My main issue with it is that you cannot save presets. So if you create a great sound you cannot just save the settings, you need to take a photo of the knob settings to recreate the sound. That makes this device almost useless for performance purposes.

    • Jimmy Page

      It sounds like you CAN NOT play!

  • Sarasin

    Had a good laugh at this rant of the Rhythm Wolf.

  • hhtsshs

    Spoiler alert: they sound just as bad as the rhythm wolf.

  • Robert Wulfman

    I love the look of these things and the naming is fun but they’re really limited and seem a bit costly for the feature set

  • einstyles

    whats the difference between the tom cat and the rhythm wolf that already out?

  • Eric

    $499 for the Timbre Wolf? I haven’t heard it yet but is it superior to the proven Bass Station II?

    • Justin Herriford

      The Timbre Wolf is paraphonic (4 independent voices) and includes a more extensive sequencer – 2 features that make it much different from the monophonic Bass Station II, but I’d say on par for value.

      • gary nu

        Except from the video I just watched, the Timber Wolf sounds like a$$, has almost no modulation or routing options (limited range of sounds), and seems to suffer from tuning issues already. The BSII is a real synth. It has better oscillators, filters, and modulation. It can produce bass, leads, drum sounds, and FX with ease and is stable enough to do complete rhythm tracks w/ the sequencer by changing presets on the fly. I actually liked the Rhythm Wolf (played with it for about 30 min.), but the bass synth was really the worst part of it. I can’t believe Akai had the balls to spin it off into a more expensive, separate product.

        • Justin Herriford

          Yeah actually after watching a vid, the sound does seem pretty lame. I guess all I really like is the sequencer haha. Considering the Volca keys has a competitive feature set to it for 1/4 the price, I’m guess I’m starting to agree with the crowd that thinks AKAI is losing it with these. :/ I STILL want to think they are decent though haha.

  • stromberg

    looks like akai is running out of ideas. retro is cute but still the same few old sounds to tweak to death