Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2: A Powerful Compressor Plugin for Music Production
Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2 is a virtual effect audio plugin that emulates a legendary FET compressor from the 1980s. It is designed to add punch, warmth and character to your tracks, whether you use it on drums, vocals, guitars or synths.
The plugin features a simple interface with only three controls: input gain, compression and output gain. You can also switch between two modes: normal and all buttons in. The normal mode offers a smooth and transparent compression, while the all buttons in mode creates a more aggressive and distorted sound.
Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2 is compatible with macOS and Windows, and supports VST, VST3, Audio Units and AAX formats. You can buy it for $44 from KVR Audio, where you can also find more information and audio demos.
If you are looking for a versatile and easy-to-use compressor plugin that can enhance your music production, you should definitely check out Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2.
But what is a FET compressor and how does it work? A FET (field-effect transistor) is a semiconductor device that uses an electric field to control the current flow between its source and drain terminals. Applying a voltage to the third terminal (gate) alters the conductivity between the source and drain, thereby altering the current flow/signal[^3^].
A FET compressor uses this principle to perform the gain reduction. The input signal is split into two paths: one goes to the FET circuit and the other goes to a sidechain circuit. The sidechain circuit detects the level of the input signal and sends a control voltage to the gate of the FET. The higher the input level, the higher the control voltage, and the lower the conductivity of the FET. This results in a lower output level and thus compression[^3^].
FET compressors are known for their fast attack and release times, which make them ideal for percussive sounds like drums. They also add harmonic distortion and saturation to the signal, giving it a warm and punchy character. However, they can also be smooth and transparent if used with moderate settings[^2^].
Some of the most famous FET compressors are the Urei 1176 and its variants, which have been used on countless hit records since the 1960s. Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2 is based on one of these variants, but with some modern enhancements that make it more versatile and user-friendly.
So how can you use Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2 in your music production? Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of this plugin:
Use the normal mode for a smooth and transparent compression on vocals, guitars, bass, or synths. Adjust the input gain, compression, and output gain to achieve the desired amount of gain reduction and make-up gain.
Use the all buttons in mode for a more aggressive and distorted sound on drums, percussion, or electric guitars. This mode activates all four ratios at once, creating a very high compression ratio and a nonlinear response. You can also use the mix knob to blend the compressed signal with the dry signal for parallel compression.
Use the FET drive to add more harmonics and saturation to the signal. This simulates the overdriving of the FET circuit in the hardware unit. You can also use the transformer drive to add more color and character to the signal. This simulates the overdriving of the output transformer in the hardware unit.
Use the sidechain EQ to fine-tune the frequency response of the sidechain signal. This allows you to control which frequencies trigger the compression more or less. For example, you can use a high-pass filter to reduce the compression on low frequencies, or a boost to increase the compression on high frequencies.
Use the mid/side mode to process the mid and side channels separately. This allows you to compress the center and stereo elements of your mix differently. For example, you can use a higher compression ratio on the mid channel to make it more punchy, and a lower compression ratio on the side channel to make it more spacious.
Pulsar Audio â Smasher v1.0.2 is a powerful and versatile FET compressor plugin that can enhance your music production with its unique sound and character. Whether you want to add some punch, warmth, or distortion to your tracks, this plugin can do it all. You can buy it for $44 from KVR Audio, where you can also find more information and audio demos.