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Pulsar Audio Mu + Smasher Bundle

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Pulsar Digital Mu

AAXAudio UnitsVST3VST2


The most faithful emulation of a modern yet legendary tube compressor/limiter – perfect glue for mixing and mastering


An industry-standard tube compressor

There are several reasons to use a variable-bias tube compressor. One is the exceptional compression transparency that this kind of compressor can achieve, even when pushed into extreme gain reduction. Another – and perhaps the most common – is their ability to add cohesion or “glue” to buses, whole mixes and masters.

Unfortunately, the original hardware is expensive and difficult to integrate with “in-the-box” workflows. Software emulations exist but most owners of the hardware agree that they cannot be compared to the original unit, as there’s always “something” missing.

With its unique Topology Preservation Technology, Pulsar Mu sounds objectively identical to the hardware in every production context, and even makes improvements such as an increased signal-to-noise ratio.


Screenshot of Pulsar Mu


Improving on a classic

Pulsar Mu is a stereo compressor operating in either Left/Right or Mid/Side modes, designed with mixing and mastering applications in mind, but also flexible enough for tracking. It can be used for levelling, limiting, or just to add a bit of analog warmth with its emulated tube signal path.


Mu main panel


While reproducing the accurate SIFAM metering of the original unit, Pulsar Mu also provides a more modern visualization mode for fine-tuning compression settings, representing the waveform and gain reduction both over time and instantaneously.

Pulsar Mu also offers various options that apply to the sidechain signal. A popular mod of the original device was to add a high-pass filter, but Mu goes even further, offering a more complete equalization section, enabling to precisely adjust the compressor’s response to bass, midrange and treble using only four knobs.

Another addition is the possibility of advancing (look-ahead) or delaying (look-behind) the sidechain signal. This enables you to take ultimate control over transients, letting the compressor start to react before they happen, over even after they happen, opening up all kinds of creative uses.


Mu meters
Mu screen
Mu sidechain options


How does it sound ?

Transparent but musical

The sound of Pulsar Mu is impressively transparent with a touch of warmth. It manages transients in a soft and musical way, even with extreme settings, unlike a FET or VCA compressor. With Mu, you can add movement while respecting the natural dynamics of a source.



The most classic use of Mu is in mastering: it brings the discreet "polish" and "glue" to subtly warm up any mix. It can be used either transparently as a leveller (with long attack and release), as a compressor to add glue (slow attack with fast release), or as a limiter (fast attack and fast release). Using Mu in Mid/Side mode gives you another way to increase stereo image, or to curtail an overly wide mix.


Drum buss

Pulsar Mu can quickly create the “glue” needed for cohesive drum buss processing, while still respecting transients – even those of a kick drum. Depending on the chosen gain reduction and release time, it can restore the room ambience essential for certain styles of music – especially when used as a parallel compressor.


Acoustic guitar

On an acoustic guitar, with a relatively low gain reduction setting, Pulsar Mu creates a nice organic groove, while respecting the transients of the instrument. This subtlety is useful for livening up a dull, stiff guitar track, giving it edge and personality.


Snare drum

Pulsar Mu can give body and consistency to thin snare drums sounds, even while preserving their transients, which are essential for helping them break through the mix. When pushed a little harder, Mu can help you recover sustain, harmonics, or even ambience.



Pulsar Mu sounds particularly good on vocals – especially with fairly high input and medium attack and release. It gives them the analog-style warmth to help them sit naturally, even in a dense mix.


Main Features


Topology Preservation Technology

Our modelling technology guarantees a perfect emulation of the original device’s behavior. From the saturation of the magnetic flux in the transformers, to the precise response of the tubes, to the effects of tiny calibration defects, everything is perfectly reproduced.


External Sidechain


External sidechain

Pulsar Mu 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.


Mid-Side Processing


Mid-Side processing

Pulsar Mu 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


Look ahead, look behind

This innovative feature lets you shift the timing of Pulsar Mu’s gain reduction compared to the input. Look-ahead enables the Mu to start reacting to transients even before they happen, ensuring perfect limiting. Conversely, the look-behind delays the gain reduction, so that fast transients can be left unprocessed while the gain reduction kicks in after them. This opens up various possibilities like clipping transients separately after Mu has done its work.


Flexible Sidechain Equalizer


Flexible sidechain equalizer

The sidechain equalization section is simple but efficient. You can let your mix more transparent by preventing low frequencies from triggering compression with the High-Pass filter, adjust the response to vocals or other instruments thanks to the parametric bell filter, and keep the influence of the top-end under control with the positive or negative High-Shelf filter.


Low CPU Usage


Low CPU consumption

We spent a ridiculous amount of time optimizing Mu to consume as few system resources as possible – despite the complex algorithms at work. Pulsar Mu takes full advantage of modern CPUs to do more with less. But if your computer can stand it and you enjoy making it suffer, you can always turn oversampling on, processing at rates up to 384kHz!




AAXAudio UnitsVST3VST2


Straightforward but extreme “British mode” compression – a faithful emulation of a uniquely modified 1176.



All buttons in, 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.


Main Features



Topology Preservation Technology

Our proprietary modelling technology guarantees a perfect emulation of the original 1176’s behavior. From the saturation of the magnetic flux in the inductors, to the precise response of the transistors and the tiny calibration effects, everything is perfectly reproduced.


Low CPU Usage


Low CPU consumption

We’ve spent ages optimizing Smasher to consume as few system resources as possible while keeping the same complex sonic results. Smasher takes full advantage of modern CPUs to do more with less, but also allows oversampling at rates up to 384kHz.



Parallel compression

Smasher’s Mix knob lets you blend in the original unprocessed signal. This means that you can really squash the transients with extreme compression, then bring back just a hint of the processed signal to add sustain to a sound without compromising its dynamic qualities.



Linked sidechain

On a stereo bus, channels are usually compressed independently to get smoother control of dynamics… but when you’re compressing audio more brutally, it’s essential to keep the stereo image stable. That’s why Smasher uses a single detector to process a stereo track.

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