Pulsar Audio Massive
Passive Mastering EQ Plugin
A Different Equalizing Experience
Pulsar Massive is an emulation of the Manley Massive Passive EQ that is present in almost every mastering studio in the world. This machine was designed as a synthesis of the best passive equalizers of the last 70 years, and several distinct features in the design give it an absolutely unique sound.
First of all, the fully parallel topology of the EQ gives a completely different kind of response to a digital equalizer with the same settings. A parallel equalizer's tonal corrections aren’t cumulative, but tend to interact with each other, resulting in a more intuitive and fluid way to shape the frequency spectrum.
As well as this, the whole equalization circuit of the original hardware is passive and therefore has several inductors. These inductors, machined and wound specifically by the manufacturer, are responsible for a creamy, non-linear, and organic sound due to the magnetic saturation they introduce.
Finally, the input, output, and internal gain stages are entirely tube and transformer operated, providing another step of warm and organic coloration.
Pulsar Audio meticulously reproduced all of these important aspects of the original hardware, but the plugin also offers an interface inspired by its ergonomics, which were much appreciated by its users.
Pulsar has taken Massive even further, adding all the key features you would expect from a modern, versatile EQ plugin, including visual curve editing for a fast workflow and a drive parameter to push the inductor and tube saturation stages harder for more vibe.
Improving On A Classic
Pulsar Massive comes with a complete on-screen curve editor and spectrum analyzer. This best-of-both-world approach gives an accurate overview of your EQ changes while highlighting the singular behaviors of the original unit. The easy-to-use graphic interface allows a fast and radical workflow for mixing applications.
The Drive control allows usage of the plugin at internal levels where the analog vibe of the original unit is unusual and musical. Pulsar Massive's accurate models of transformers, tubes, and inductors produce large amounts of harmonics and non-linearities. All coupled together, these are responsible for the subtle, dynamic, and program-dependent low-end compression beloved by generations of sound engineers.
Pulsar Massive is a component-accurate model of the original unit, perfectly emulating its parallel EQ design and the unique sound-sculpting feeling. With parallel EQ, band gains don’t accumulate as in most other EQs, but rather recombine to produce natural-sounding corrections. The Pultec-like low-shelf filters allow a generous and tight low end, even at extreme boost settings. The high-shelf filters provide a pristine top end and air without harshness.
Pulsar Massive takes full advantage of modern CPUs to do more with less. Despite the tremendous amount of complexity in the audio algorithms, you'll be able to use a large number of instances. The resizable interface and wise choice of modern features will make Pulsar Massive your go-to color-EQ.
How Does It Sound?
Smooth and Musical
Just ask any experienced engineer to hear a ringing endorsement of passive EQ and its uses! Pulsar Massive’s sound can be described as giving a creamy top-end, well-balanced mids, and a punchy low-end. Whether you’re using subtle or extreme settings, audio never sounds over-equalized, but rather vivid and natural, keeping true to the nature of your source material.
In mastering, Pulsar Massive is the perfect tool to add sparkle and heft to your mix. For instance, it’s often used to add power to the low end (47 or 68 Hz) while retaining dynamic separation and balance between kick and bass, or to add air (16 kHz high-shelf) without any harshness. Pulsar Massive is also mind-blowing when used in Mid/Side mode, for perfect control over the stereo scene.
A creative and musical tool for lead vocals, Pulsar Massive is excellent for adding presence (with the 3.3kHz or 4.7kHz bell filters), and some low-mid warmth without any mud (with the 220Hz low-shelf for instance), thanks to the Bandwidth parameter. The 1.6kHz bell filter is magic to add or remove density, helping a vocal to sit in the mix. Don’t hesitate to really push the drive for some creamy saturation!
Mixing Electric Guitar
Saturated electric guitars are very busy in the midrange, especially in extreme musical styles, and this can make them difficult to mix. Because the human ear is very sensitive to spectrum and phase manipulation in these areas, Pulsar Massive, with its smooth parallel EQ curves and naturally gentler phase alteration, is the perfect tool for shaping tone without messing with the phase.
Working the Drum Bus
Whether it’s used for cleaning mud (a gentle bell cut at 180Hz), to tame harshness on overheads (a gentle bell cut at 2.2kHz), or to add brilliance (a gentle high-shelf boost at 8.2kHz), Pulsar Massive will bring a coat of polish to push your drums to the next level. To top it off, you can adjust how Pulsar Massive reacts to the transients of the kick and snare with the Drive control, for a customized dynamic response.
Pulsar Massive can be used as a sculpting tool for very rich sources like synth pads or synth basses. Use it in creative ways, experimenting with extreme curves and driving it hard – you won’t have to work hard to get great results. In addition, on a mixbus, choosing the right transformer will allow you to beef up your kick drum or keep it tight.
Visual Curve Editing
For the first time, a plugin enables you to manipulate a very peculiar analog-shaped EQ curve in an intuitive way. The curve editor is extremely easy to use, with a clear and concise overall frequency response display. You can edit all properties of any filter, including its assigned name, without touching the lower panel.
This parameter helps you increase or even decrease the distinctive and musical analog vibe of the original unit. Accurate models of transformers, tubes, and inductors are all coupled together to reproduce the program-dependent subtle low-end compression beloved by generations of sound engineers.
Pulsar Massive comes with built-in optional M/S encoding and decoding, enabling a signal’s mono and stereo information to be processed separately with different settings. The Listen buttons help audition each signal in isolation, and the screen displays only the channel you’re working on, so you always know what you're doing.
This control compensates for volume changes introduced by equalization, keeping output level consistent with input. It uses a C-Weighting-based algorithm to introduce a level compensation based on EQ curve analysis. The compensation gain applied only depends on your EQ settings and won’t change during playback.
Pulsar Massive takes full advantage of modern CPUs to do more with less. A selectable oversampling mode is also available for computers that can handle it, with processing at rates up to 384 kHz. You can choose for higher oversampling settings to be applied at export than at playback.
Choose between three output transformer options: An "original" mode that is true to the performance of the hardware’s circuitry; an exclusive setting even more colorful than the original, allowing warm low-end coloration; and an option to remove output transformer modeling altogether.
Metering & Spectrum Analyzer
The on-screen analyzer displays the audio spectrum in real-time (fast and slow window settings) or over the long-term with the Infinite Spectrum setting. In addition, peak metering provides insight into overall dynamics, and RMS meters let you monitor loudness and level matching. An overall gain meter is also available.
Pulsar Massive comes all wrapped up in a responsive and resizable interface. A resize handle enables you to choose the perfect size for each use case, from nice and compact to highly visible.
- MacOS 10.8 Mountain Lion and above
- Windows 7 and above (64-bit only)
- Intel, AMD, or Apple Silicon CPU
- 4GB RAM or more
- 1GB free storage space
- 1024x768 screen resolution or higher
- Free iLok account and iLok License Manager
- iLok Machine, iLok Cloud, and iLok USB licensing methods are supported
- Includes 2 activations per license
AAX Native, AU, VST2, and VST3