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Rhythm Wolf Mods


The Rhythm Wolf by Akai was one of the most universally panned synths when it came out in 2014. It creates some interesting sounds, but these are often limited to a small range of knob settings. Other issues like excessive noise and the unfixable bass synth oscillator drift did not help the situation. But, the negative reviews are probably equally fueled by disappointment. Here was a combo, analog drum machine and bass synth with sequencer, that looked perfect on paper, but fell short when people actually listened to it. They were expecting an 808 and 303 in a single box, and instead got something else, something less. Now that you can get a cloned 808 and 303 for cheap, maybe there is value in something that sounds different. Due to the market failure of the Rhythm Wolf (RW), it can be had for under $150, and perhaps be modded into something that sounds good in its own way. This project is an attempt to see if that is possible.

There is also a Muffwiggler thread with more discussion on the topic:

RW Muffwiggler thread


The first step in turning the RW into something else, is to understand what it currently is. To this end, i have reverese engineered the schematics and analyzed them to see where things went wrong (and some things went right). My apologies for the hand drawn, and somewhat hard to read schematics. It was way faster to do it this way than to CAD everything up. Perhaps someone will remedy this in the future. They are seperated into sections, with each section linking to schematics and a discussion (Note: there are no values for ceramic capacitors, as they are hard to measure in-circuit):

NOTE: there might be some mistakes in the schematics (wrong designator numbers, values, etc.), so if you can't find a part, it might be an error in the schematics.


i wanted to document the before/after sounds to give folks an idea of what the mods did. They are recorded with the direct out in the left ear, and the discussion in the right ear. right now i only have the before videos ready:

RhythmWolf (last edited 2021-04-30 02:01:37 by guest)