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Compressor by Pulsar Audio

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"I can see me using this all over the place for energy parts on guitars."
. Producer, engineer & founder of Produce Like A Pro.
"This is designed to be loud, rude and obscene, which is exactly how I like a lot of my compression to be, especially when it comes to drums!"
. Engineer & founder of Spectre Sound Studios.

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 the Pulsar team 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 Pulsar have built into Smasher will add definition to transients and make your tone more aggressive. Pulsar 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 colourful 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 Pulsar's proprietary Topology Preservation Technology, bringing the full sonic capability of this classic effect to your DAW.

With its unique tuning and 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 imbues 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

Pulsar's proprietary modelling technology guarantees a perfect emulation of the original 1176’s behaviour. 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 Consumption

Pulsar have 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.

System Requirements


  • CPU: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / i9 / Xeon or AMD Quad-Core minimum
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM, 1 GB free disk space​
  • Operating System: Windows 7 with SP1 64 bit / Windows 8.1 64 bit / Windows 10 64 bit​
  • GPU: OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU​
  • Monitor: Minimum Resolution 1024×768, recommended 1920×1080
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

Compatible Plugin Formats (32 & 64-bit):

  • AAX Native
  • VST 2.4
  • VST 3


  • CPU: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Xeon
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM, 1 GB free disk space​
  • Operating System: 10.10 – 10.15
  • GPU: OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU​
  • Monitor: Minimum Resolution 1024×768, recommended 1920×1080
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

Compatible Plugin Formats (64-bit only):

  • AAX Native
  • Audio Unit
  • VST 2.4
  • VST 3


  • You need to have an account at to be able to use Pulsar software.
  • The Mac version of this software is 64-bit only and will not function on 32-bit systems.

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