AudioDeluxe offers the Smasher compressor plugin by Pulsar Audio as a FREE download in April.
If there was ever a Guinness World Record for the most emulated compressor in software, it would have to be the 1176. If you’ve somehow missed the magic of a good 1176 emulation, look no further than Pulsar’s Smasher, which is available for free for a limited time through AudioDeluxe.
We’ve previously covered Smasher, but for the uninitiated, it functions as the “all-buttons pressed” mode for the 1176. You can get explosive compression on this setting with a fixed attack. The only real controls are the linked input and output knob, which serve as your threshold and output gain, respectively.
Look no further if you need a compressor VST plugin to smash drums, vocals, guitars, or whatever else needs smashing. It also comes with a mix knob, so you can use it as a parallel processor on your drum bus.
Smasher isn’t an exhaustive emulation of an 1176, but what it emulates, it does well. I’ve had Smasher for quite a while, and I typically use it as my rear bus compressor of choice.
It works especially well to add a little more grit to vocals, something I’ve done with a fair few extreme metal mixes that required a little something extra. Of course, it does wonders on the kick and snare, as you would expect from an all-in 1176.
Pulsar Smasher is very much a one-trick pony, but it is the trick that made the pony famous in the first place. Pulsar also has a variety of other stellar mixing processors, with the 1178 and Mu being great choices for more nuanced compression.
If you want to get a taste of how Pulsar handles things on the dynamics end of the spectrum, then Smasher is a great first step.
While you’re over at AudioDeluxe, you can also take a look at their other sales and specials, which include Soundtoys, Eventide, Sonible, and many other developers.
Smasher is available for Windows and Mac computers. Supported plugin formats are VST, VST3, AU, and AAX. Smasher is a universal application, so Intel and Apple Silicon users are well covered.
You will need an iLok account but not a USB key, as activation can be handled through the client itself.
And if you have a soft spot for vintage-inspired compressors that don’t require iLok, check out our free BPB Dirty LA plugin.
Download: Pulsar Audio Smasher