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Description du produit
un nouvel instrument électronique qui offre un son analogique authentique, donnant aux musiciens la capacité à créer de la vraie musique électronique.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
First I will start with the Timbre Wolf's limitations. It doesn't do much in the way of creating sounds. First of all, and this is a big one for me, there is no LFO on any of the voices. And forget about sample and hold. This is the most bare bones, stripped down synthesizer which has the most minimal of controls: filter cutoff and resonance, an envelope filter, the ability to detune a little, switch between square and sawtooth wave and decay/release time. No true ADSR, no HPF (although the filter is really nice and can do some of that) and definitely no ability to flip the waveform 180 degrees which would have added to this unit's capabilities exponentially. Not being able to control Attack or Sustain time is weird and there's no mod wheel which could have been assigned to one or all of the filter cutoffs. The small 25 key keyboard was kind of weird but the keys are full size and feel nice for non weighted keys. Basically the standard feel for this kind of device. Finally, the wood on the sides is fake. Plastic wood. But it still looks nice and I'm sure it kept costs down while maintaining a vintage appearance.
That said, there is beauty in the Timbre Wolf's limitations, and you do have the ability to make quite a decent assortment of basic synthesizer sounds. Considering this is more of a specialty synth and not an all purpose synth, you can't really fault AKAI for what they did here. They made a really nice step sequencer synth that isn't cluttered with menus and settings, and the only display shows BPM of the pattern or the pattern number. I appreciate that as someone who enjoys the classic analog synthesizers of the 70's and 80's. When I first pressed play on the step sequencer, the device was in mono mode and I was treated to a very TB-303 sounding sequence which I enjoyed. The filters on this thing are nice and while they don't really feed back on themselves, the resonance is quite nice and you can get some very usable sounds from the device. The sequencer itself is really the main "feature" of this synthesizer. While the sounds are basic, so is the sequencer, and it's great. All the features you need without any complex menus to deal with, just like an old sequencer. The unit comes with 8 pre programmed sequences with A and B variations and a fill, as well as 8 more empty pattern locations to make your own sequences. This unit seems to be tailored for experimentation and live use as I was able to create some patterns and play with the knobs for hours having fun with the basic 16 step melody.
The unit itself as well as the sequencer has 3 main modes. Mono, which plays one of the selected voices at a time, Poly, which is not what you think. Instead of letting you play up to 4 keys at a time to play chords, it alternates between the 4 voices. 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 etc. If set up properly, you can play or record some very cool patterns that have a lot of life to them. If set up poorly, it will just sound bad. Experimentation will help you come with some great sounding sounds. The unison mode plays all 4 voices at the same time, and this is where the detuning feature comes in. If you set the voices up so they are all similar and slightly detune the pitch and the filters, you can create a thick, rich sound that is hard to get with modeling synths. It's not perfect which is why it sounds so good. Set all the tune knobs back to the center position and the rich sound disappears a little. It's a little bit of magic that I appreciated from this machine, and the downside of the minimal nature of this device starts to disappear once you hear the sounds and have fun creating patterns and experimenting with what it can do. Although I quickly exhausted all this unit's capabilities, I am not tired of it and I feel like it's just begging me to use on stage connected to both old and new devices.
I almost forgot to mention the "Howl" setting, which frankly is pretty important. You don't need to crank it all the way, but if you turn it off, the tones lose a lot of life, so the Howl feature which is a type of overdrive, really helps give the sound a little distortion which is very common in modern electronic music. Of course it can be turned off for a more subtle sound, and this synth is certainly capable of making some mellow, droning synth sequences if that's your thing.
Some great features that synth veterans may appreciate are the gate trigger in and out. This allows you to use other older devices to either be a master or slave for timing on the sequencer part. There is no control voltage jack, so this is only for controlling the tempo, but it's much appreciated and allows you to connect something like an old C-78 or anything with a gate in/out to play along with. Of course it also has the standard MIDI in/out/thru and USB connections to tie into other devices. I should mention one other cool feature which is separate outputs for each voice which you could send to a mixer or your recorder if you want to mix them separately or have someone else mix them for you while you play.
Overall, this is a wonderfully refreshing analog sequencer synthesizer with limited sound making capabilities, but that doesn't mean the sounds are bad at all. It sounds great, works great with today's EDM and Indie Electronic music styles, and I definitely do NOT recommend this to someone who has never owned a synthesizer before. Sure, it will be fun, but it's so limiting and there are tons of other great options on the market that can do a lot more general stuff in the way of sound creation and experimentation. The Novation Bass Station II is an amazing analog synth with lots of presets and real ADSR, LFOs and the other common analog synth features. I also love the Arturia Mini Brute (or MicroBrute) which has even more features but does not save any presets which I think is amazing but it can also be scary for live use if you don't know what each knob, switch and slider does. Both cost about the same as the Timbre Wolf but they also are completely different beasts. I want to give the Timbre Wolf 5 stars but also be very clear that this isn't a synthesizer for everyone. It has a particular set of skills that it does well. I am really growing to enjoy playing with it and tweaking the knobs more than even much more advanced synthesizers. But at the end of the day, if you are looking for your first synth and want to really learn how they work, I'd go for the Bass Station or Mini Brute. If you love old school analog synthesizers and have used a step sequencer before or like to listen to or create music with a lot of basic 16 step patterns that repeat over and over, and you don't need to learn all the complex features of a synthesizer to make a lot of wacky space sound effects that fade in and out or need to replicate a certain sound, maybe this unit is for you.
Whatever the case, the Timbre Wolf is unique and I applaud AKAI for making such a unique and interesting true analog synthesizer that is fun to use and is actually fairly complex in its simplicity. If someone gave this to me for my first synth, I would enjoy it. It's going to be great for live use in a band for a bass player, or keyboard player as part of an array of synths, and I can see a live EDM DJ using this to add some flavor into his set. Hopefully this review helped you decide if this is right for you or not. If you already know a lot of about synths and/or own several, you can see almost everything the Timbre Wolf does just by looking at the top down picture of it. And that to me is one of the coolest things about it.
The four voice architecture of the Timbre Wolf is what makes it unique. It may be played in monophonic (as four separate mono-synths), polyphonic(!), and unison modes. Things get really interesting when you vary the voices. In monophonic mode, you can sequencer four separate mono-synths. In polyphonic mode, the voices rotate for each note played. For example, if a three note chord is played, then voices 1, 2, and 3 are triggered and the next played will sound off with voice 4 first. This similar to the polyphony of a Dave Smith Prophet in behavior except the Timbre Wolf's voices can be set differently making each note a different sound and the Dave Smith Prophet synthesizers have more oscillators, more parameters to control, and cost a lot more.
The unison mode, the voices are stacked and monophonic, but thick. Detuning one to three of the voices a small amount really thickens up the sound especially if the voices are generally set the same.
Each of the four voices have dedicated outputs as an alternative to the one main output. The outputs are balanced when using TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) cables, or TRS to XLR, and compatible with standard TS (Tip-Sleeve) cables. Using a decent mixer (I use Mackie), the voices may be spread across the stereo space with great effect that headphones and the main output don't provide.
The howl feature is much like the Rhythm Wolf's howl and add dirt or unholy abrasion.
The Timbre Wolf has a sequencer like the Tom Cat, Rhythm Wolf, or the Hip Hop-centric Akai Professional XR20 drum machine. It can be synchronized via MIDI, MIDI over USB, or gate trigger with the Rhythm Wolf and Tom Cat.
The Timbre Wolf's four octave range can cover the middle ground and bass, but you won't get really high leads with the pitch wheel. There is no modulation wheel to flourish your playing. Although, you may tweak the voices live while playing which is fun and dynamic. It is a solidly built instrument like the Rhythm Wolf and Tom Cat except the end caps are plastic.
I own two dozen analog synthesizers and only two other are polyphonic. The majority are monophonic. The Timbre Wolf is great at what it does for $249.99 price point. It offers some very unique possibilities, but not for the squeamish. If your are looking for a more straight-forward polyphonic, analog synthesizer at a great price point, then try a Korg Minilogue at $499.00.