Akai Rhythm Wolf Mods / Hacks / Circuit Bending

Never being 100% content with a piece of gear , I modded my Rhythm Wolf. I poked around on this sucker for quite a while and have a few good notes, plus a burned out synth filter chip because I got overzealous.

My originally proposed hacks:

  • Add separate open hi-hat decay knob
  • Add separate bass release knob
  • Extend drum tuning ranges
  • Add high-pass filter to hats in range from 1K-3K
  • Add high-pass filter to perc in range from 300Hz-1K
  • Add high-pass filter to snare in range from 100-400Hz
  • Add a synth insert – post VCO/ pre-VCF so I can insert other sounds through the filter and sequence the filter
  • Separate outputs
  • Add noise to bass part with separate mix pot

After messing around, I found a quite a few spots that could be modded. Once I added separate outputs though, some of the mods seemed unnecessary. Sure, I could have put a passive capacitor tone adjustment on the snare and percussion, but it is so easy to do with a plugin, or a mixer. Since I typically use a hardware/DAW setup, the best compromise for me was to use plugins. (There is so much processing that can be done in-the-box that you can practically re-synthesize anything. I’ll post some tips later.)

Tuning the drums by adjusting the resistors in the bridged-t networks would be nice for flexibility, but my surface mount soldering skills were not up to snuff, so I chose pitch shifting plugins rather than a broken machine.

Here is a picture or the circuit:

rhythm-wolf-mods

A hi-res PDF of the same: rhythm-wolf-mods

And a cheat sheet of mods I tested, but did not do: rhythm-wolf-bends

 

I hope this helps some of the more adventurous of you to do some tweaks. I was content getting an separate open hat and closed hat decay and individual outputs. I use an Ableton rack to do some processing along with Max4Live modulation on effects in order to get pitch bends on the drums, split processing and other cool stuff. I’ll put up a tutorial about that later, so check back.

Cheers,

Nick

 

 

 

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