Pulsar Audio Smasher

All-buttons-in FET Compressor Plugin

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The Basics

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It has 3 types of activations, iLok USB, iLok Machine, and iLok Cloud.

Different brands/products will offer different iLok methods. iLok USB is always an option, but the availability of iLok Cloud and iLok Machine methods is at the discretion of the software developer.

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iLok USB Key

iLok USB

This activation is stored on an iLok 2 or 3 USB key.

It is the best option for portability, if you frequently move between multiple machines, and offline use.

iLok Machine ID

Machine ID

This activation is stored locally on your computer.

While this is a convenient way to work offline, and does not require the additional cost of an iLok USB, there is the risk of a license being lost in the case of a drive failure.

This option also requires extra care when you upgrade to a new computer, the license(s) must be deactivated on your old machine first to ensure you do not lose them.

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It requires an active internet connection for the entire time you use the plugin(s).

A straightforward extreme compressor modeled after the "British mode" of a uniquely modified 1176 compressor.

Between saturation and compression, the texture of the Smasher is unique, inimitable.

It doesn't work everywhere, but if it works, go for it generously!

A custom mod on a classic circuit

Pulsar Smasher is an unprecedented custom modification of the 1176 compressor circuit, which we stumbled upon while fine-tuning other algorithms.

The original 1176 compressor has 4 selectable ratios.

But it just so happens that all 4 buttons can be pressed at the same time, this is called "all buttons mode" or "British Mode".

Although probably an unanticipated feature, this mode has become very popular because of its distorted, explosive, and highly compressed sound.

Think of it as something halfway between a compressor and a saturation.

While remaining very close to the original circuitry, this modification adds definition to the transients and makes the whole tone more aggressive.

Decidedly not versatile, this effect is especially useful to enhance the ambience in drum busses, but many other creative uses are possible.

Typical effects you can get with the Smasher are the raw and gritty sounds of bands such as Vulfpeck, The Whitefield Brothers, or The Black Keys.

Why It's Unique

The 1176 is a vintage FET (field effect transistor) compressor.

Based on an internal feedback configuration, these designs are known to be fast and colorful, capable from soft limiting to heavily saturated tones.

In all-button mode, several things happen in the circuit, including changes in the bias voltages.

For the first time, all these phenomena are perfectly reproduced, with all the associated sound peculiarities.

With our unique tuning and its beautiful and uncomplicated interface, the Pulsar Smasher gives this mythical circuit a new personality.

How does it sound?

It can add thickness and grit to any drum or bass track, or completely crush a bus, producing an aggressive sound, impossible to achieve with other plugins.

On a drum buss

On a drum track, the Smasher will provide the typical sound of an 1176 in all-buttons mode, with the signature sound of the delayed transient squashing. The result is an explosive sound that will instantly put your drums in the front of the mix.

On a snare drum

Used on a snare drum, the Smasher adds body and sustain. We strongly encourage you to try to thicken your snare drum by reaching between -6 and -10dB of gain reduction and then try to mix a few percent of the resulting huge snare drum sound into your dry sound.

On a bass

Since the bass track often requires a combination of compression and saturation, the Smasher is the ideal tool to get it dirty. You will be able to control precisely how much grit to add. For example, use the Mix knob to add just a small amount of fuzzy saturation.

      System Requirements

      • MacOS 10.8 Mountain Lion and above
      • Windows 7 and above (64-bit only)
      • Quad-core Intel, AMD, or Apple Silicon CPU or better
      • 4GB RAM or more
      • 1GB free storage space
      • 1024x768 screen resolution or higher
      • Includes 2 activations per license

      Plugin Formats

      AAX Native, AU, VST2, VST3

      User Manual

      Crossgrade Proof

      This crossgrade is for owners of a competing DAW. To prove your DAW ownership, we require that you upload proof in the form of an image/PDF.

      Types of proof

      A copy of your purchase receipt for the original license or the most recent update/upgrade

      A screenshot of your product registration

      A photo of your package (either CD/DVD or printed manual), with the unique serial number included in the photo.