Navigator Synthesizer shows the way to polyphonic analog sounds with a lot of modulation options packed in a futuristic design for little money
Blind Monk Instruments, a company pretty unknown to many musicians, presented something new and exciting shortly before Christmas. Navigator looks futuristic and can clearly differentiate itself from other instruments. It is not made for friends of knobs. There are only 6 knobs, 2 buttons and a screen here
It features a 4-voice polyphonic analog engine that is hidden inside this uniquely designed case. The instrument without a keyboard can be played in a poly, duo, unison or different mono modes. Each voice features 2 oscillators (DCOs) (saw, double saw, square/pulse and square + saw) with a sub-oscillator and ring modulator. The latter comes from combining the oscillator 1& 2 and offers unique ring mod timbre control.
Unlike in other DCO based synthesizers, each voice of the Navigator Synthesizer has an independent frequency. This allows for stability while also creating a natural analog sound and phasing between oscillators. The sound generators then move on to two-pole fully resonant lowpass filters.
Friends of LFOs get their money’s worth here. Not just one or two, but three LFOs are on board. Each offers a wide range of different waveforms: square, triangle, saw, ramp, sample & hold or unique quad sine. The first LFO can be synced between all voices or free running as well as synced via MIDI. Further, there are two classical ADSR envelopes built into the engine.
Step Sequencer With Artificial Intelligence
It gets interesting with the sequencer. In addition to the almost classic 64 steps, an artificial intelligence-based engine is also installed. 10 different sequence generator algorithms are installed that allows you to create new sequences. The sequencer has also MIDI sync.
In addition to this generator function, it is possible to record almost all parameters in a sequence. But not all at the same time. For example, you can change the filter cutoff on step one and the filter resonance on step two but you can not change both on step one. Also on board is a chord memory mode. In total, you can save up to 10 different sequences or chords in the memory.
Flexible Voice Distribution & Patch Storage
As already mentioned, the Navigator Synthesizer has a total of 4 voices. Each voice, however, is capable of loading different sounds and offers on top full cross-modulation capabilities. According to the developer, dozens of modulation destinations and millions of sounds are possible. New sounds can also be saved in 150 memory locations
Further, it includes velocity control of the filter envelope, the attack, and glide for greater performance control. Another cool feature is the full MIDI CC support of the synth. So you can control it from your DAW, software or other hardware.