Pulsar Audio Smasher VST Plugin Is FREE Again (€49 Value)


VSTBuzz is offering the Smasher (€49 value) compressor effect by Pulsar Audio as a free download from their website until April 28th, 2020. The iLok License Manager needs to be installed for plugin activation purposes (iLok USB key is not required).

Smasher was already offered for free earlier this year, but that offer expired in March. If you missed that deal, here’s another chance to get Pulsar Audio’s excellent UREI 1176LN peak limiter emulation for free. The plugin emulates 1176LN’s custom “British mode” that is engaged by pressing all four compression ratio buttons at the same time. The “British mode” results in unusually aggressive compression behavior that sounds very good on drums and bass guitar recordings.

See also: 40+ Music Production Freebies To Help You #StayAtHome

If you’re looking for a gritty compressor plugin that will add character to your recordings, Smasher might be worth a try. If you’re looking for a more aggressive alternative that doesn’t require an iLok ID, check out the amazing RoughRider3 by Audio Damage. And check out our list of the best free compressor VST plugins.

Here’s how to get Smasher for free via VST Buzz:

  1. Visit the Smasher deal page.
  2. Click the “Buy Now” button.
  3. Click the “Proceed To Payment” button.
  4. On the Payment page, click the “Have a coupon? Click here to enter your code” field.
  5. Enter the freesmasher20 coupon code.
  6. Fill out your details and complete the free checkout process.

Check out the demo video below to see and hear Pulsar Audio Smasher in action.

Smasher is available as a VST, VST3, AU, and AAX plugin for compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac. The software is normally priced at €49 but you can get it for free via VSTBuzz for a limited time only. Please note that a free iLok ID is required to activate your free copy of the Pulsar Audio Smasher plugin. You will also need to install the iLok License Manager software. Up to two Pulsar Audio Smasher installation can be activated simultaneously in the license manager.

More info: Pulsar Audio Smasher (free @ VSTBuzz, use coupon code freesmasher20, offer ends on April 28th, 2020)

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


      • Multiple reasons. To name a few major ones: if your hdd / ssd gets damaged or lost and you can no longer access your operating system, the licenses that are linked to that one machine are no longer accessible and you can lose them (they are bound to that one machine).

        Also, this Ilok license manager requires internet access, which is not an option if you work in an internet free environment or deliberately decided to keep your music computer off the web. There are many good reasons to keep your music work separate from online stuff: keeps the malware away, allows you to focus on the creative process instead of getting distracted by immediate gratification nonsense

        • Tomislav Zlatic


          I don’t hate the Ilok License Manager (the software version, never had the dongle). Not a fan of it, either – I just install it and forget about it. But, I had that thing with locked licenses happen to me once. Major PITA.

          • Definitely PITA. I get anxious just from the thought of my hdd / ssd crashing and me losing the Ilok licenses. Fortunately I have only a few Ilok plugins, since I typically stay away from buying / using anything that requires it.

        • Oh S***!! My licenses are assigned to my Macbook. So if my SSD dies I lose the license? Scary.

          The good news is, yesterday I made a beat offline and was surprised to see that I already own this plugin. So at least the one I have works offline, confirmed. I may get another free license incase my computer crashes.

          • Yup, it’s supposed to work offline, as long as you have the Ilok licence manager locally installed and you have activated the licenses once you had internet access (for activation you need to be online).

            But if you use Ilok Cloud (where the license gets stored in the virtual cloud), then you need to be permanently online.

            Both options are not really viable if your music computer is completely offline.

            To conclude:

            Ilok license manager local software:

            – requires temporary online access once for each license activation
            – license is bound to that one computer, if anything crashes, you are at the risk of permanently losing that license

            Ilok Cloud

            – requires permanent online access (otherwise your licensed plugins will stop working)
            – licenses are stored in the cloud,, so they won’t get lost if your machine dies

            If you want to keep your music workstation off the internet, you can use option one to activate your licenses once, but then you run the risk of losing your licenses if anything happens. That’s why I rather stay away from “I’m locked plugins”

            • Wow now I see why some people hate it. And some plugins are not cheap!

              I always thought if my computer died I can just sign in to iLok and re-authorize a new machine like iTunes.

              Thanks for the info.

        • Just curious, Is this plugin an emulation ala UAD UA 1176 AE? The colour is similar tho… That would be pretty awesome

      • IKE is exactly right. Two weeks ago a friends’ rig died. ILok would not let use transfer his licences to his new pc withtout going on his old (now dead) PC to deactivate them. The logic behind that is… special. So instead we had to contact every single one of our licence providers (e.g. Softube. Soundtoys etc…) to ask them to manually deactivate the licences from his old PC so we could activate them on the new one. How unnecessarily tedious and complicated is that? That whole process is truly badly thought out and a major headache. Despite that I still don’t get all the hate it gets. It’s not all that bad especially for quality freebies like this one.

        • Your friend could have had uploaded his licences to the iLok cloud. It’s free and doesn’t require a dongle ;)

          • Ilok Cloud is not a viable solution:

            “This feature requires that the computer is continuously connected to the internet during use. If the internet connection is lost an error message will appear after a few minutes explaining that a valid license must be present to continue using the software.”

            So, in the scenarios I gave above, where you want to keep your music computer off the web, you cannot use Ilok Cloud.

            Hence the best solution is to stick to software that does not require dongles or permanent online access. Klanghelm, Tokyo Dawn Labs and Izotope comes to mind (among many others).

          • Yes, that is exactly what he was always using, no dongle, all managed by cloud via the application. Nevertheless if you cannot access your PC anymore will have to do what I described above, EVEN using the cloud service. Which imo is exactly what makes it so nonsensical and what made me understand all the hate iLok gets. XLN Audio allows to remotely activate and deactivate licences with a single click. I just don’t see why Pace can’t. But as I said earlier, it’s fine other than that. Just a very major flaw that could easily be fixed imho.

          • Many companies do quite well without using iLok. Intellectual property protection is important, but there are other ways, such as what plugin alliance does for example.

            • And Klanghelm and Tokyo Dawn Labs and Izotope – all renown companies who get the copy protection aspect right.

  1. iLok has interrupted my workflow too many times to count and I have only been using it again for a month (the internet version because apparently they want you to waste your money every few years on their worthless USB monopolizer.)
    It is AWFUL and plagued by so many problems. It is severely frustrating to have paid for software that requires it’s use when iLok doesn’t work all the time. I mean when you have a power outage at your home a company will prorate your fee because they didn’t keep up their end of the contract, you pay, they provide, but this company is simply a interdiction service, you don’t pay them anything, they provide no service, their only aim is to intermittently stop and frisk you while you try to use a product you’ve paid from another company. iLok is scum in my opinion. Migt be fun to tell the BBB about it.


    • That’s crazy. iLok has never once interrupted my workflow in 15+ years. Set(up) and forget. I guess some of just get lucky when it comes to copy protection like iLok. Sure, I’d rather not have any major copy protection and instead just use a serial number or license file like u-he, d16, Freakshow Industries, etc., but I can tolerate the stricter copy protection if it means that I can have access to some incredible plugs on my system from companies such as Soundtoys and Eventide (2 of my favorite software devs).

  2. I noticed that IK Multimedia is giving away its Cinematic Percussion sample pack for Sample Tank. You’ll need to be logged in and subscribed to their newsletter. Then go to the “My Products” page and a popup will appear offering the pack for free.

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