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Pulsar Audio Smasher Effects FX VST Plugin 2022

€ 15,00

Pulsar Audio Smasher Effects FX VST Plugin 2022


A compressor that eats transients for breakfast, the 1178 is a rare and expensive legend of the recording studio, cleaner and more versatile than its older brother, the 1176. The 1178 has been used by great producers including Chris Lord-Alge (My Chemical Romance), Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Christina Aguilera), Yvan Bing (Phil Collins) and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead).

Our 1178 software (VST/VST3/AU/AAX) meticulously recreates the original 1178 hardware in its tonal color and compression character. But we’ve taken the Pulsar 1178 further than the original unit, adding all the features you would expect from a modern, versatile plug-in, including a full sidechain EQ for added control, an optional saturation stage for warmth and character, and precise metering.


 Improving on a classic
Pulsar 1178 has a fast and bright character, making it great for dealing with unruly transients in tracking and mixing. While these qualities make it the ideal choice to smash the transients of a drum room to get a nasty rocky bounce, the extended attack range also allows gentle dynamic contouring, and can provide unique mid-band definition and intelligibility on a vocal.

When it comes to compression, having more control over the sidechain signal can bring a mix to the next level. The dynamics of a drum groove hinge on how compression is triggered by both the kick drum and the snare. With Pulsar 1178’s full-featured sidechain EQ section, you can make each one hit just the right amount of gain reduction.

Keeping an eye on dynamics is key to a well balanced mix. Pulsar 1178’s accurate and modern metering section helps in this important task. Peak meters allow insight into overall dynamics; RMS meters let you monitor loudness and match levels; and a scrolling view helps visualize how the attack and release settings are affecting the gain reduction.

Add grit and drive to the usually-transparent 1178 with four flavors of saturation: Tape, Triode, Warm and Clip modes open up new ways of managing dynamics and spectral envelope. These modes are fully-integrated in the compressor’s gain reduction system, allowing a unique vibe, unachievable with pre or post saturations.

 How does it sound ?

 Snappy with a rich sound
More transparent than an 1176, the 1178 allows incredibly fast control over transients when compared to other compressor models. Add the all-buttons-in mode and Pulsar’s added saturation models, and you can access characterful, colorful tones as well.

1178 is a great way to get vocals to pop out of a mix and sound very aggressive. Don’t take our word for it – Bob Clearmountain has used these circuits to do the business on vocals from Mick jagger, Christina Aguilera and more.

 Drum Overheads
The 1178 has the speed to catch crashes in a flash, and also opens up the top end of a signal in a very natural-sounding way. Chris Lord-Alge uses this combination to great effect on “lacklustre overheads”. With Lookahead, you can get surgical with your drum transients too

Whether you’re catching transients, controlling dynamics, or all-out smashing up the signal, bass is prime fodder for the 1178. Using our added Saturation circuits, you can really introduce extra grit, helping the bass to pop through a mix and survive on smaller speakers.

 Acoustic guitar
Guitar transients can be particularly fast and harsh, and the 1178 is a great tool to dampen lively picking, as well as to make the body of the sound bounce and respond. Fast processing and natural release helps add life to a mix but retain natural guitar tone.

 Buss and Master compression
Transparency and speed make the 1178 a good candidate for buss compression and even mastering compression (as on Robert Plant’s album Angel Dance). The added sidechain EQ is helpful in controlling the entire frequency spectrum – not just heavy bass.

 Main Features

 Topology Preservation Technology
Our modelling technology guarantees a perfect emulation of the original device’s behavior. From the saturation of diodes, transistors or tubes, to the slight internal filterings, to the tiny calibration defects, everything is perfectly reproduced. What’s more, we can reproduce all these behaviors without going through a complete simulation of the circuit, thus saving CPU power.

 Saturation stage
Push the signal further using one of four saturation flavours, and adjust the processing strength. Tape emulates the character of magnetic recording technology; Warm offers subtle distortion that’s great for high frequencies; Triode emulates a Class A tube amp, adding mostly odd harmonics; Clip offer digital clipping for heavy-handed action.

 Mid-Side processing
Pulsar 1178 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 simplify the setting by allowing you to listen to Mid or Sides signals in isolation, and the modern visualization can be set to monitor only the channel you’re working on, so you always know what you’re doing.

 Look ahead, look behind
Bring the compressor’s detection action forward in time – practically impossible in an analogue signal path – or delay its action by up to 10ms to help transients to pop through. You set the exact timing of the Look-ahead or Look-behind delay stages, up to 20ms for the former or up to 10ms for the latter.

 Powerful sidechain EQ
High-passing the sidechain is possible with Pulsar 1178, but so is a lot more, thanks to an entire sidechain EQ section. Five filter types are available here, as is band solo and sidechain audition to help perfectly tailor your signal and arrive at the ideal detection response.

 External sidechain
Pulsar 1178 allows to define an external sidechain input, as all compressors should in the digital age. This opens a very wide range of applications: ducking, de-essing, filtering the sidechain signal with your favourite EQ, or even applying dynamic processing.

 Advanced metering section
Gain reduction, input level and output level are all visible in different ways. The scrolling gain reduction meter offers a view of gain reduction and the audio signal; VU-style metering shows instantaneous gain reduction for both stereo channels; and LED-style input, output and gain reduction is available to calibrate peak and RMS loudness

 Smart GUI
Pulsar 1178 comes all wrapped up in a responsive and resizable interface. Just drag the resize handle to set it to your preferred size, from nice and compact to highly visible. What’s more, in most DAWs, loading Pulsar 1178 on a mono channel will open the plugin with a streamlined interface that shows only a single channel of operation.

All buttons i

n, all the time

Smasher is an unprecedented custom modification of the classic Urei 1176 compressor circuit, a unique formula that we stumbled upon while fine-tuning other algorithms.

The original 1176 compressor hardware offered a selection of four ratios, but studio engineers soon discovered that pressing them all at once led to a distorted, explosive and highly compressed sound. It’s this “All buttons in” or “British” mode that Smasher was painstakingly designed to recreate.

While remaining very close to the original circuitry, the modifications we’ve built into Smasher will add definition to transients and make your tone more aggressive. We love using it to enhance the ambience in drum busses, but there are many more creative uses too. Smasher won’t work on every single track, but where it does, it works magic.

Smasher excels at raw and gritty sounds, calling to mind bands like Vulfpeck, The Whitefield Brothers and The Black Keys.


Why it's unique


Based on an internal feedback configuration, FET compressor designs like the Urei 1176 are known for their super-quick attack times and a colorful tonal response that ranges from soft limiting to heavy saturation.

When running in all-buttons-in mode, several things happen to the 1176’s circuit, including changes to the bias voltages. In Smasher, all these phenomena have been perfectly reproduced for the first time using our proprietary Topology Preservation Technology, bringing the full sonic capability of this classic effect to your DAW.

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

How does it sound ?

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


On a drum buss

Smasher embues drum mixes with the typical sound of the 1176’s all-buttons-in mode. You get that signature delayed transient squashing and an explosive sound which instantly propels your drums to the front of the mix.

On a snare drum

Add body and sustain to bring out a snare’s tone. Try thickening your snare drum by reaching between -6 and -10dB of gain reduction, then mix a few percent of the resulting huge snare drum sound back into your original dry sound.

On a bass

Since bass often requires a combination of compression and saturation, Smasher is the ideal tool to get it dirty, letting you control precisely how much grit to add. Use the Mix knob to add just a small amount of fuzzy saturation.

On lead vocals

Please don’t try this at home.