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New Blind Monk Instruments Navigator
Old 21st December 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
guigui's Avatar
 

New Blind Monk Instruments Navigator

Navigator, New Classic Poly Analog Synthesizer With A Futuristic Design



According to Blind Monk Instruments page:

Navigator is polyphonic analog synth with a great sound and tons of modulation capabilities.

Each voice has:
2 Oscillators + Sub Oscillator + Ring Modulator
3 LFOs
2 ADSR envelops
2 pole fully resonant low pass filter
saw, pulse, and ring modulator wave shapes

64 step sequencer
chord memory mode
artificially intelligent sequence generator
oscillator shape control for double saw tooth, pulse wave, and ring modulation
unique ring modulator timbre control

Polyphonic, Duophonic, Unison, and Mono modes
150 patch storage locations
10 sequencer / chord memory storage locations
10 different sequence generator algorithms

sequencer automation control for all main menu functions
dozens of modulation destinations
millions of possible sounds

capable of loading different sounds for each of the four voices
full of cross modulation capabilities
square, triangle, saw, ramp, sample + hold, unique quad sine LFO shapes

unique architechure
With all other DCO synthesizers, each voice is locked to the same master frequency. In the Navigator, each voice has an independent frequency. This allows for stability while also creating a natural analog sound and phasing between oscillators.

velocity control of the filter envelope, the attack, and glide for greater performance control
LFO one can be synced between all voices or free running as well as synced via MIDI
Sequencer MIDI sync
MIDI control over all parameters



Very interesting sounds. Nice design. Inviting price tag.
Old 21st December 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

at first glance it looks like a guitar pedal.
never stand on the floor
Old 21st December 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Looks like 4 voices for anyone else wondering why that's the one thing they don't mention above ...
Old 21st December 2019
  #4
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
It looks so 1978.

Old 21st December 2019
  #5
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lost_the_peace's Avatar
 

I like that it doesn't have any dumb compromises in modulation, like minilogue XD for example.. hurray for common sense!
Old 21st December 2019
  #6
Deleted f25ebd2
Guest
It seems to sound pretty good.. hmmm
Old 21st December 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_Jezz View Post
Looks like 4 voices for anyone else wondering why that's the one thing they don't mention above ...
They did mention "for each of the four voices".
Old 23rd December 2019
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
https://www.blindmonkinstruments.com/navigator.mp3

Oh yeah, this is enticing right here.
Old 23rd December 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

yuck// for "futuristic" I read "cheap and cheesy"
Old 23rd December 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
Fwiw, the feller that makes these is a local here in North Carolina. I met him at our last Triangle Synth Party meeting and he demoed it. It sounds very good in real life. Only limitation is the second osc is square only that I could see.
No afiliation just a synth fan
Best
Chris
Old 24th December 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Shadowkast's Avatar
 

Forgive my ignorance, but why only a single 1/8 output?
Old 24th December 2019
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowkast View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but why only a single 1/8 output?
Really. Presumably not so people would say things like, “dealbreaker”.

P.S. - dealbreaker

I don’t care that it’s a mono output, but don’t give me this 1/8 in. B.S. on an output.
Old 24th December 2019
  #13
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Somebodyperson's Avatar
That interface is definitely not for me.

It makes my DX21 look like a dream to program by comparison....even though its almost all buttons.


Sound is fine....the price would be fine if it had...you know....hands on controls (even if not full....at least for the basic stuff), still in module form is fine.


Who am I though...just some noob on the internet.

P.S. I do think it looks cool and I like the aesthetic design.


Even though it would cost more, I think a knob per function interface would result in better sales.




Oh yea....sure, the interface will be fine for some, but when you have to dive so much into menus to change anything or the knob assignment it just makes programming tedious and takes away from the fun of making new sounds. I had a synth with a similar interface, I liked the sound but it was just so annoying to program that I sold it. I don't wanna go down that road again. At least with my DX21 there is an array of buttons, so programming is fast once you learn it and get the flow.
Old 24th December 2019
  #14
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synthguy's Avatar
I wonder if it's appealing because it's not Roland.
Old 24th December 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
It looks so 1978.

Old 24th December 2019
  #16
Gear Head
 

Really curious how this could fit into my workflow with the right VST interface built
Old 24th December 2019
  #17
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
Even though it would cost more, I think a knob per function interface would result in better sales.
I can’t say what this one is like, but there are good ways of doing an interface that don’t involve a knob per function. Ensoniq synths were really good at it back in the day, and the Prophet 12 module is an excellent example of how to do it well. I wonder if it will have a software editor. First glance at this one doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, at least from a UI standpoint.

Still, the sound is great, IMO. If it were more than 4 voices, I would have definitely put it in the running, but instead I picked up a REV2.
Old 24th December 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
https://www.blindmonkinstruments.com/navigator.mp3

Oh yeah, this is enticing right here.
What the f is up with the RF interference on that recording!?
Old 24th December 2019
  #19
Gear Nut
 

I wonder how much ‘analog’ is really in there?
Old 24th December 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I can’t say what this one is like, but there are good ways of doing an interface that don’t involve a knob per function. Ensoniq synths were really good at it back in the day, and the Prophet 12 module is an excellent example of how to do it well. I wonder if it will have a software editor. First glance at this one doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, at least from a UI standpoint.

Still, the sound is great, IMO. If it were more than 4 voices, I would have definitely put it in the running, but instead I picked up a REV2.
Both in voices and pricing it's up against the Korg XD Module (which can actually be had for a little less than list). And that unit seems pretty fantastic for the price, especially with that open source oscillator/effects unit to spice things up. And the XD can be chained for more voices. I applaud the boutique approach and novel design, but, unless there's something that really makes it stand out beyond its looks, I see a hard road ahead for the Monk unit.
Old 24th December 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Somebodyperson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I can’t say what this one is like, but there are good ways of doing an interface that don’t involve a knob per function. Ensoniq synths were really good at it back in the day, and the Prophet 12 module is an excellent example of how to do it well. I wonder if it will have a software editor. First glance at this one doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, at least from a UI standpoint.

Still, the sound is great, IMO. If it were more than 4 voices, I would have definitely put it in the running, but instead I picked up a REV2.

Yes, my EPS was easy enough to program.
Old 24th December 2019
  #22
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gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

Looks like it's built by a carpenter during a metal workshop
Old 24th December 2019
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentleclockdivid View Post
Looks like it's built by a carpenter during a metal workshop
I personally love the look.
Old 24th December 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Is it supposed to be ironic that something called Navigator is lacking in physical controls?

I also hope that the idea of an 1/8” output is not the future.

I understand the lack of controls is a cost cutting measure but there is no significant cost savings in putting an 1/8” jack on there instead of 1/4”. And generally speaking 1/4” to 1/8” adapters are way less janky than the alternative if you really need 1/8” for some reason.
Old 24th December 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
It looks so 1978.
1979.
Old 24th December 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klonfocius View Post
1979.
You’re probably right. I am not the authority on this, being born in ‘82.
Old 24th December 2019
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
Handful of pots/knobs is enough, you only have so many hands and that's that even if sequencing, the rest is visual porn

This thing has a design to die for IMO , brilliant , original
Old 24th December 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
You’re probably right. I am not the authority on this, being born in ‘82.
Old 25th December 2019
  #29
Thing certainly seems to have a unique sound to it. Not sure I'm in love with that sound. Why does it make me think Poly 800?
For the price it's a decent collection of features considering 4 voices. Though just about everything else in the price range has CV patchability to some extent. I can see the omission being a dealbreaker for some.

It sounds really, really thin to me. It might give the Kawai K5 a run for the money in thinness. Not that every synth needs to be oozing bacon grease fat sounding. The thin one's fit in between the fat ones.

UI seems problematic. Naming patches is likely as much fun as on the Alesis Ion. Maybe if the knobs were also pushbutton types.

The high whine in the demo is headache inducing.
Old 25th December 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Somebodyperson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Is it supposed to be ironic that something called Navigator is lacking in physical controls?

I also hope that the idea of an 1/8” output is not the future.

I understand the lack of controls is a cost cutting measure but there is no significant cost savings in putting an 1/8” jack on there instead of 1/4”. And generally speaking 1/4” to 1/8” adapters are way less janky than the alternative if you really need 1/8” for some reason.
It's not ironic, you will be spending a lot of time navigating through the menus.
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