- Publisher: Pulsar Audio
- Product: Mu
- Version: 1.1.6-R2R
- Format: AAX, VST2, VST3
- Requirements: Windows 7 with SP1 64 bit or higher
Pulsar Audio Mu is a compressor-limiter VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugin for Windows. Pulsar Audio Mu runs as a VST2, VST3, and AXX plugin. Pulsar Audio Mu VST plugin can be used with all major digital audio workstations (DAW) including Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, Pro Tools, and others.
Many ingenious gain-reduction strategies are employed within the design of analog compressors, involving everything from VCAs and FETs to valves and photo-cells, and everyone has their own sonic characteristics. Pulsar Audio’s Pulsar Mu software compressor is predicated on a premium variable-bias tube compressor that’s valued for its transparency and skill to attach mix elements together without making them sound over-processed. The designers claim that Pulsar Mu sounds just like the hardware within the context of music production, aside from having an improved signal-to-noise ratio; they’ve modeled all the subtleties of the valve/transformer circuit in great detail.
Mu can operate in either Left‑Right or Mid‑Sides stereo modes, and though it’s conceived as a bus or mix compressor, it’s applications in tracking, leveling, limiting, or just adding subtle warmth. Pulsar Mu supports the standard native plug-in formats on Mac OS and Windows machines and may operate at sample rates up to 384kHz. Authorization uses the iLok system (your choice of hardware dongle or iLok Cloud) and a 30-day free trial is obtainable.
Mu’s side-chain references a number of the mods applied by third-party engineers to the first but also builds on them by offering a more complete side-chain EQ section, with four controls to regulate bass, mid-range, and treble. Another feature impossible with the hardware is lookahead, but Pulsar has gone further — also as lookahead, there is a ‘look-behind’ option, so you’ll set this compressor to react either before or after the input arrives.
The main panel has separate left and right channel controls for Threshold, Attack, Output Level, and Release, the last operated by a five-position switch. within the center are switches for linking the channel controls and side-chains, and selecting L-R or M-S operation. Another switch, per channel, selects between compression and limiting. an impact at the highest center, labeled Dual Input, is employed to line the general input gain, and below it’s a wet/dry Mix control for fast parallel compression.
The lowermost blue section offers the choice of internal or external side-chain operation, three-band side-chain EQ with a sweepable mid, one control for choosing lookahead/look-behind operation, and 4 buttons to pick the monitoring mode, which may be Output, Side-chain, L/M (Left/Mid) or R/S (Right/Stereo). The emulation includes a graphic representation of the analog metering of the first unit, but if you click on the panel hosting the gain-reduction meters, you will see a further and really informative Alternate Visualization mode, which displays waveform level and gain reduction on a moving graphical display.
I found, even as the designers claim, that Pulsar Mu sounds pleasantly transparent in Compression mode, with a really subtle hint of flattery. the choice to form the side-chain look-behind is not any gimmick, and clothed to be more useful than I assumed — it had been just the thing for tightening up some drum sounds I happened to be performing on.
Like a real vari-mu, it seems kinder than most compressors when it’s pushed into heavy gain reduction, serving to regulate the amount and add glue, without destroying the sense of dynamics of the first material. It works alright as a group-bus or mix-bus polisher, and seems very forgiving of drum mixes especially, exerting control without killing the transients. It also doubles up as an honest vocal compressor.
Parallel compression with the combination control is handy, and switching to Limit mode allows you to use a more aggressive squash to the wet signal. it isn’t a brick‑wall limiter, but you’ll treat it simply as a high-ratio serial compressor; counting on what proportion gain reduction is applied and therefore the attack/release settings, it can go from aggressively splatty to politely assertive.
The bottom line is that this is often an easy-to-use, easy-on-the-ear compressor that will tackle many various scenarios a la mode.