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Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine   

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Akais Tom Cat is a true analog drum machine with five percussion voices that can claw their way to ferociously feral beats. Designed to compliment Ak...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Analog drum machine with built-in percussion voices.

Akais Tom Cat is a true analog drum machine with five percussion voices that can claw their way to ferociously feral beats. Designed to compliment Akais existing Rhythm Wolf drum machine, Tom Cat takes beat creation a bit further with five built-in percussion voices including Kick, Snare, Clap, and chromatically tunable Disco Toms. Theres also an onboard 32-step sequencer, gate trigger I/O, six ultra-responsive MPC-style pads, classic drum machine layout, swing function, and a unique œMaul circuitry that will dirty up your beats and give them an added crunch. The Tom Cat makes analog drum programming an affordable option for most musicians budgets.

FEATURES
  • True analog drum machine with 5 percussion voices
  • Kick, Snare, and Clap sounds with chromatically tunable Disco Toms
  • Onboard 32-step sequencer with classic drum machine workflow
  • Gate trigger In/Out, for triggering your sequences via modular synths, vintage sequencers or external sound sources
  • œMaul circuitry to dirty up your drum beats
  • 6 custom-calibrated MPC-style pads for sequencing and finger drumming

Release your inner beats, order the Tom Cat today!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalTom Cat Analog Drum Machine
 
3.8

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (18)
  • Functional (12)
  • Good quality (11)
  • Improves sound (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (10), Experienced (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Modernized old school, for a great price

I love this unit because I knew what I was getting into and wanted.
This is an analog drum machine more reminiscent of some older pieces of gear, kick, snare, clap,...Read complete review

I love this unit because I knew what I was getting into and wanted.
This is an analog drum machine more reminiscent of some older pieces of gear, kick, snare, clap, hihats, and basically a tom-tom synth with chromatic intonation. Classic and simple, then you are given 16 step sequencer with 16 patterns that have a Part A and B, so 32 patterns, plus fills, which can give you up to 64 patterns, though there is some button holding required for those fills. A swing feature lets you create very nice rhythms for those who like to give some more of a human quality to the beats. "Maul" creates a nice distortion that can become quite aggressive, but can be used to give a nice boost and warmth to the drums. Then you have MIDI in and out on the back, CV trigger in/out, plus USB hook up. This makes it very easy to connect however you want, whether its in studio, band practice, analog jam session, or live, you can make it sync to whatever source you need.
The sounds are pure. They have a bit of control, nothing like you get in a DAW like Ableton or Reason, but I can get that boomy 808 sound and a nice thumpy kick with no long decay. I like the snare a good bit, it's a classic sound but only a little different from it's ancestors from the 80's. Clap is very usable and can create this more subdued sound with little decay and higher spread. Hihats are interesting in that they use the same oscillator, but have a difference which is more noticable with higher decay rates. Finally the "Tunable Disco Toms," a tom tom sound that gets you that classic pew pew we know from classic drum machines. But can create a simple plucked sound for writing melodies (though it has intonation problems when you go up/down an octave).
All in all for a little more than the Volca beats, you can get a sturdier more flexible analog drum machine that can be modded if you're handy with electronics.
Don't believe the hate, this is one of the best pieces of analog gear for the money.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A Limited Machine

I own a Rythmn Wolf drum machine, and found it to be better in sound quality than this much awaited unit. The output signal stage is diminished on this production model. I felt...Read complete review

I own a Rythmn Wolf drum machine, and found it to be better in sound quality than this much awaited unit. The output signal stage is diminished on this production model. I felt that Akai would have greatly enhanced this second in their series, and improved the raising of the bar, but they came up very short. I cannot strongly recommend a purchase of this unit to anyone. It has some sounds that are friendly to an industrial base collection of music. but that's about it.

Reviewed by 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A Limited Machine

By Chief

from Fort Polk, Louisiana

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Functional

Cons

  • Lack of Unique Sound Quality
  • Weak Output

Best Uses

  • Practicing

Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

I own a Rythmn Wolf drum machine, and found it to be better in sound quality than this much awaited unit. The output signal stage is diminished on this production model. I felt that Akai would have greatly enhanced this second in their series, and improved the raising of the bar, but they came up very short. I cannot strongly recommend a purchase of this unit to anyone. It has some sounds that are friendly to an industrial base collection of music. but that's about it.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I love it!

By moparzack

from CFO, OH

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to program sequences
  • Easy To Use
  • Good sound quality
  • Seems durable

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

      This thing is the perfect sonic complement to my other more "normal" sounding drum machines. It has a very tweakable quirky character, and the sequencer could not be easier to use. The interface is so intuitive that I've only had to open the manual a couple of times. Locks perfectly to incoming MIDI clock. Warning - this DOES NOT sound like real drums in any way. So if you're looking for "realistic" drums to back your one person band, this might not be the best.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fun, easy to use and good analogue sound

      By JohnnyReb

      from ND

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Backup
        • Concerts
        • Practicing

        Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

        Got this on stupid sale...no brainer for the 50%. Honestly very good though regardless. I don't believe there is an analogue drum machine any where near this in price....

        It syncs well and the sequencer is simple. Also extremely good build quality.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Open Box = Good as New!

        By Todd

        from Lititz, PA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Good Quality

        Cons

        • Limited parameter ranges

        Best Uses

          Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

          I picked up the Rhythm Wolf on sale a year ago and have been waiting for the Tom Cat to be on sale to complete the picture. Individually each machine doesn't get all the sounds I am looking for, but together I can use the tighter Kick from the RW, blend snare from both (RW for body, TC for snap), and have various percussion sounds to keep loops from sounding repetitive. Linking them together via the Gate trigger you can just randomly select a couple of beats and turn various drums off to create composite loops quickly.

          I wish either one had a Ride or Crash Cymbal in addition to the sounds they have, but I wouldn't want to lose anything already there, as they are quite useful. At this price point I understand the lack of individual outs, but it would have been nice to have an External Trigger Out on the Claps beat.

          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Modernized old school, for a great price

          By Trinin Zach

          from New York

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Practicing
            • Studio work

            Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

            I love this unit because I knew what I was getting into and wanted.
            This is an analog drum machine more reminiscent of some older pieces of gear, kick, snare, clap, hihats, and basically a tom-tom synth with chromatic intonation. Classic and simple, then you are given 16 step sequencer with 16 patterns that have a Part A and B, so 32 patterns, plus fills, which can give you up to 64 patterns, though there is some button holding required for those fills. A swing feature lets you create very nice rhythms for those who like to give some more of a human quality to the beats. "Maul" creates a nice distortion that can become quite aggressive, but can be used to give a nice boost and warmth to the drums. Then you have MIDI in and out on the back, CV trigger in/out, plus USB hook up. This makes it very easy to connect however you want, whether its in studio, band practice, analog jam session, or live, you can make it sync to whatever source you need.
            The sounds are pure. They have a bit of control, nothing like you get in a DAW like Ableton or Reason, but I can get that boomy 808 sound and a nice thumpy kick with no long decay. I like the snare a good bit, it's a classic sound but only a little different from it's ancestors from the 80's. Clap is very usable and can create this more subdued sound with little decay and higher spread. Hihats are interesting in that they use the same oscillator, but have a difference which is more noticable with higher decay rates. Finally the "Tunable Disco Toms," a tom tom sound that gets you that classic pew pew we know from classic drum machines. But can create a simple plucked sound for writing melodies (though it has intonation problems when you go up/down an octave).
            All in all for a little more than the Volca beats, you can get a sturdier more flexible analog drum machine that can be modded if you're handy with electronics.
            Don't believe the hate, this is one of the best pieces of analog gear for the money.

            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            All analog sound quality - kills digital!

            By EpicStudiosInc

            from San Jose, CA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Studio

              Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

              This drum machine has pure, clean punchy sound you can only get from real analog. Forget samplers or digital drums - if you want hi-fi quality that is both sweet to the ears and gutteral to the chest, this is the choice. Loving it!

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Uninspiring

              By RRSS

              from Midwest

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Solid Build

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Play

                Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

                This thing is a huge disappointment with very limited uses.

                First and foremost, the maul feature is borderline useless. It doesn't push the signal in a fuzzy, saturated kind of way... it decimates the low end and takes all of the high end on a trip through a hellish dimension of blinding, frozen, broken glass and crystalized noise. That alone might sound like a selling point for some as I do love my distortion (using this through DI's on a Thermionic Culture Vulture) but it just sounds terrible in a very bad way. Just one knob, though, so not that big of a deal.

                The sounds, while analog, are pretty lame out of the box and limp toward you with an "old school" crutch. The kick has some weight underneath it but features an entirely unavoidable pop at the beginning that, for me, ruins it. The snare has a nice snap and you can get some punchy dirt when combining it with the clap but the toms are hilarious. Not sure how else to describe them but I wouldn't use them in a track unless I was trying to be cheesy.

                It's all a bummer because it's otherwise really well built. Solid, with a real metal chassis and wooden side panels that give it some serious heft. It's also easy to program, just a shame that it sounds so lame while you do it. It doesn't sound how it looks, if you know what I mean?

                This isn't worth the full asking price, IMO. It's fun to play with at first but at $100+ the novelty soon wears off.

                (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Prehistoric technology

                By Crash

                from Olivia, Texas

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Functional

                Cons

                • Difficult To Use
                • Not Functional

                Best Uses

                • Practicing

                Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

                Wondering if this is a leftover from the sixties... doesn't even sound like a drum even when processed through top notch professional equipment.

                (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                This is Literally the Worst Drum Machine Ever Made.

                By TCM

                from Philly

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Cheap

                Cons

                • Useless

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

                  Seriously, this is the worst drum machine ever made. The tune knobs don't really do anything on the snare or hihats, the kick has an annoying click that can't be adjusted, and the "maul" is just, I don't know, a volume boost with an elevated noise floor? The Disco Toms instrument is useful because its knobs actually function, but not enough to save this thing overall. I guess that's why it was only a hundred doll hairs, but it's not worth any amount of money, as there's literally nothing I would use this thing for.

                   
                  4.0

                  I love the Tom Cat!

                  By ChrisK

                  from San Diego, Ca

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Functional
                  • Good Quality
                  • Improves Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Unique sounds on tracks!

                    Comments about Akai Professional Tom Cat Analog Drum Machine:

                    I love the Tom Cat! It is a great addition to my other drum machines that have tons of sounds & patterns but just don't really stand out! This one, while not having more that a few instruments (of which it's not supposed too) has a much fuller, quality (analog) sound to track with. It's very easy to tweak the indiv. instruments & I absolutely love the old style tom sound! Construction-wise, it's built like a tank! The pads have that nice MPC feel as well! What a great price too!

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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