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Akai unveils Rhythm Wolf - analog drum machine and bass synth Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 3rd November 2014
  #2581
Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
I tried one on saturday at a friends house. It sounded LOVELY and ANALOGUE, BUT, these things stood out:

1: TUNE on HH does NOTHING. Absolutely no change in HH pitch when turning the knob. Why has no-one noticed? WTF?

Because of the cunning plan to create a product with so many other things wrong.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2582
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So a french reviewer of the Wolf asked Akai US about the wonky tuning.
Akai answered that it should be quickly corrected via an OS update.

So I guess those who want a tamed musically trained Wolf only have to wait.
And keep on complaining to make sure Akai does not change their mind or take too long to do this.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2583
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asynchro_nous's Avatar
 

These beta wolves are cute, but I'm going to need to hold out for an alpha.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2584
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Aletheia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyBox View Post
So a french reviewer of the Wolf asked Akai US about the wonky tuning.
Akai answered that it should be quickly corrected via an OS update.

So I guess those who want a tamed musically trained Wolf only have to wait.
And keep on complaining to make sure Akai does not change their mind or take too long to do this.
Let's hope this is true. I also hope they add.

-HH tuning range (seems to have little effect)
-Copy A to B function
-Part Clear function (right now clearing does the whole pattern)
-Be able to select a voice without having to trigger it
-Longer decay on the kick would be awesome


Also something I noticed. When the Rhythm Wolf is set to External Sync, it responds to stop and start messages....but instead of the "Stop" message stopping and resetting the Rhythm Wolf's Sequencer it pauses it. So if you're trying to play in time with another drum machine you have to reset it every time. Kind've annoying....it'd be great if transport controls worked in ext sync mode. This doesn't seem like it'd be that hard to fix...
Old 4th November 2014
  #2585
Gear Addict
 

It's put me off buying one until it's sorted.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2586
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyBox View Post
So a french reviewer of the Wolf asked Akai US about the wonky tuning.
Akai answered that it should be quickly corrected via an OS update.
I find it hard to believe that the most basic of software quality checks would not have included a tuning verification. But maybe they just didn't test in a rush to get the product out the door.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2587
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asynchro_nous's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stopthesignal View Post
I find it hard to believe that the most basic of software quality checks would not have included a tuning verification. But maybe they just didn't test in a rush to get the product out the door.
Yeah, they sure got it to market after the initial announcements in a timely fashion!
Old 4th November 2014
  #2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by stopthesignal View Post
I find it hard to believe that the most basic of software quality checks would not have included a tuning verification. But maybe they just didn't test in a rush to get the product out the door.
Oh I'm sure they knew unless every engineer they have on staff is tone deaf.. not likely.

I think it borders on insulting that they would release a synthesizer that can not be put in proper tune.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobotsVsChildren View Post
Oh I'm sure they knew unless every engineer they have on staff is tone deaf.. not likely.

I think it borders on insulting that they would release a synthesizer that can not be put in proper tune.
Its standard practice for many companies across many industries to release incomplete or beta products just to make their shareholders happy. This is especially true of software companies or of things that can be fixed by updating software. Microsoft has done this from the very beginning with pretty much everything they've ever sold. Unfortunately this behavior has crept into the music space.
Old 4th November 2014
  #2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcgood View Post
Its standard practice for many companies across many industries to release incomplete or beta products just to make their shareholders happy. This is especially true of software companies or of things that can be fixed by updating software. Microsoft has done this from the very beginning with pretty much everything they've ever sold. Unfortunately this behavior has crept into the music space.
Oh, I know you're right. You've cited some strong examples there too. But for a synth to be released that can't be played with anything else but itself, that just seems to be a new level of d-bagging customers.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2591
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyBox View Post
So a french reviewer of the Wolf asked Akai US about the wonky tuning.
Akai answered that it should be quickly corrected via an OS update.

So I guess those who want a tamed musically trained Wolf only have to wait.
And keep on complaining to make sure Akai does not change their mind or take too long to do this.
Very happy to read this! Thanks for sharing!
Old 5th November 2014
  #2592
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
If Akai had any sense at all, they would get someone into this thread to address the issues that are coming up..
Old 5th November 2014
  #2593
227861
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcgood View Post
Its standard practice for many companies across many industries to release incomplete or beta products just to make their shareholders happy. This is especially true of software companies or of things that can be fixed by updating software. Microsoft has done this from the very beginning with pretty much everything they've ever sold. Unfortunately this behavior has crept into the music space.
While not written in stone I feel pretty much any product that uses software falls into this practice especially AIRA.

We are all pretty conditioned to this "update after release to fix process" now. Just check the AIRA threads and see how many people were willingly making an OS update list of improvements and happily comfortable with the process. People even bought it with the hopes of an upgrade even though it had quirks.

Back to the Wolf....
good news is at least we might get an update from Akai.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2594
227861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
If Akai had any sense at all, they would get someone into this thread to address the issues that are coming up..
Might happen.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2595
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djshire's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Might happen.
Wont happen
Old 5th November 2014
  #2596
Gear Addict
 
Aletheia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djshire View Post
Wont happen
But it could
Old 5th November 2014
  #2597
227861
Guest
I would like to give you all an update;

I woke up today to a phone call from Sweetwater. I told them I was hanging on to my Rhythm Wolf and was going to send it later, even though they said to send it in for repairs weeks ago. I was hanging on to it still because I needed to create content for my site and channel and at the very least I could write a review and take pics of it. I didn't want to record anything though since obviously the outputs aren't working right and when they do work the bass drum sometimes isn't there at all possibly due to the jack outputs, but mostly there is no sound at all. It works sometimes but not enough to make another sound demo yet.

My rep from SW was happy to tell me another batch is on it's way possibly within the next few days or even tomorrow. He said hang on to my Wolf then they'll send a new replacement to me and when I get it to send the broken one back to them (they pay shipping). Very darn happy to hear all this!

Akai and Sweetwater are aware of my issues with my wolf. I gave them a detailed account of what happened quite a while back.

Anyway hopefully my replacement will come soon so I can get back to making some more stuff.

It has a list of improvements that need to be addressed but I can honestly say I like the Rhythm Wolf. It's very fast to use and if they make these improvements I think it can be much better.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2598
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That's really cool of Sweetwater.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2599
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djshire's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aletheia View Post
But it could
But they wont. Akai doesn't care enough to engage us on the level that Sean (Valhalla), Andy (Cytomic), Peter (IK) or Steve (Slate) would.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2600
Lives for gear
so the unit at messe still is the best sounding wolf.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
good news is at least we might get an update from Akai.
I wouldn't hold my breath given their reputation from previous products.

Akai has been lying about a new OS for the 5000 ever since they first announced the Ren almost 3 years ago, in Jan of 2012. Many owners of then still current hardware MPCs were upset and Akai tweeted this in response to a question to try to appease them: https://twitter.com/Akai_Pro/statuse...04089823354880
Quote:
Soulful Maschine [email protected] 19 Jan 2012
@Akai_Pro What's going on with the MPC 5000? Any updates? Or discontinued?
Quote:
Akai Professional
[email protected]_Pro
@soulfulmaschine ^SB Will see updates all our standalone models will still be big hits for us!
When Andy Mac, one of the main product specialists at Akai, was confronted about that tweet the same day, he played dumb (11:21 mark):


Then again, a year later in Jan of 2013, when Akai product manager Dan Gill was questioned about it again, he claimed that the update to MPC5000 was being worked on by one of the MPC Ren developers (06:49 mark) and that "there are definitely plans to keep supporting the hardware lines, especially the 5000." And then made some comment about whether there's enough "resources":


And then, a year after that on January 25 of 2014, when a user asked a MPC Ren developer at Akai (peteblues):
Quote:
Pete is there a 5000 update on the horizon ? I have incorporated the 5000 in my studio with the new gear but wanted another hardware mpc found a new floor model at guitar center love the machine,just wondered if we'd see the update?
he answered
Quote:
I don't know actually. Different department.
(Akai MPC Forums - Possible MPC5000 update mentioned at NAMM... : MPC5000 - Page 4)
which directly contradicts what Dan Gill said in the above video about how one of the MPC Ren developer is the one working on the MPC5000 update.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2602
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acreil's Avatar
 

I don't think the complaints about the knobs can be fixed with a firmware update. Probably the knobs control the analog hardware directly. And despite Akai's response, I would be rather surprised if it's possible to fix the bass tuning in the units that have already shipped. I'd imagine that they're not consistent from unit to unit due to manufacturing variation. If it was originally designed to automatically calibrate itself and build a pitch table by sweeping through all the CV DAC values and digitally monitoring the resulting VCO frequency (which would permit simple design and cheap parts, compensating for everything but thermal drift), it was either never implemented or never functional. Any designer who's not either clueless or unreasonably pressured by bad management would have worked this out at a very early design stage. I suspect this is just plain incompetent circuit design, and they knew it was broken but shipped it anyway. These aren't the actions of a company that knows what it's doing. This looks to me like a total disaster.

That said, kinda I look forward to getting one in 3 months when they're being blown out for $60. I'm sort of pathologically drawn to ****ty, broken sounding drum machines and brain damaged products in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coven View Post
"there are definitely plans to keep supporting the hardware lines, especially the 5000." And then made some comment about whether there's enough "resources"
Given the earlier comments about running the companies "like startups", I'd imagine this means the entire two person development team was long ago pulled off the MPC-5000 to work on Akai's next broken, unfinished product.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2603
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
While not written in stone I feel pretty much any product that uses software falls into this practice especially AIRA.

We are all pretty conditioned to this "update after release to fix process" now. Just check the AIRA threads and see how many people were willingly making an OS update list of improvements and happily comfortable with the process. People even bought it with the hopes of an upgrade even though it had quirks.

Back to the Wolf....
good news is at least we might get an update from Akai.
True. This is why I am rarely an early adopter of new stuff. I expect there will be updates to code or the unforeseen bug. For example, I have no issue pushing out my Sub37 purchase to next year even though I can get it now. Or why I'm preparing to get my Kona pedals within this month and next, though I took initial interest a little over a year ago. If get a RW it won't be until this stuff is sorted, which means maybe next year, maybe longer.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2604
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
I don't think the complaints about the knobs can be fixed with a firmware update. Probably the knobs control the analog hardware directly. And despite Akai's response, I would be rather surprised if it's possible to fix the bass tuning in the units that have already shipped. ..
That's my feeling too.

At least I'll have to see it to believe it.
Old 5th November 2014
  #2605
Here for the gear
 
Sovietcong's Avatar
 

Hey gang. 1st time poster here, although I've followed this thread from it's ancient origins. Such fun! Anyway... I bought one and I love it. That said the bass synth tuning is worse then I expected. I hope I'm not breaking any rules here but I found a thread on the Akai forum about this issue here...

Rhythm Wolf bass bynth scaling/ tuning issues

The last post is from an Akai employee who claims a software fix will soon be posted on the Wolf's product page soon. Maybe a batch of hate mail will get their butts in gear?
fingers crossed....
Old 6th November 2014
  #2606
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"tuning software" ?

Yikes...sounds like some kind of tuner...not sure about this...
Old 6th November 2014
  #2607
It says this on the Akai page:

Quote:
Hi all,

Thanks again for participating here!

Several factors, including temperature, can have a noticeable effect on the intonation of analog synthesizers like the Rhythm Wolf.

A tuning software will be released in the coming weeks that will allow users to tune their product when necessary.

When the app is available, it will be posted as a free download on the Rhythm Wolf's product page:
But it's not a tuning issue, right? It's a scaling issue which is not the same thing. What is a tuning software? That does not sound like the same thing as a firmware update.
Old 6th November 2014
  #2608
Here for the gear
 
Sovietcong's Avatar
 

Yeah...very cryptic. An earlier post mentioned that the scaling is correct when the tune knob is just below 9 o'clock, but only in relation to itself. Maybe the 'tuning software' allows one to reset the sweep of the tune knob making it possible to move the "9 o'clock sweet spot" to a proper A 440? I sure hope so, cause I love the drums and the 32 step sequencer. If this can't be fixed, it goes back post haste.
Old 6th November 2014
  #2609
I got a similar email from Akai today:

Quote:
The Rhythm Wolf uses analog oscillators that can vary depending on voltage, humidity, and temperature. Of the thousands of units sold, a limited but not negligible number of customers have reported that their bass synths will not scale properly. They were set at the manufacturer prior to shipping. We are in the process of developing an application that allows the end user (i.e., you) to adjust the tuning on the Rhythm Wolf bass synth via the firmware on the unit and the USB cable. We are expecting that in the coming weeks.
Old 6th November 2014
  #2610
Lives for gear
Maybe you have to whip it with the usb lead.
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