Updated: Feb 19
Upstart plugin developer will have you sniffin' glue.
Pulsar Audio is a relatively new plugin developer that follows a recent trend in the industry where previously faceless programmers who had toiled in the plugin mines of giants like UAD, Slate, and Brainworx have branched out, creating their own small companies. Thankfully, Pulsar has followed in footsteps of like minded developers like the wunderkind behind Black Rooster Audio and Fuse Audio Labs…. That is to say, when Pulsar releases a new plugin, that shit’s gonna sound dope.
“Pulsar’s Mu sounds amazing… with a big IF. IF you dig the sound and action of the Manley Variable Mu, you’re gonna dig this a lot.”
Like many developers, Pulsar claims to have developed a proprietary bit of code that allows them to make software sound indistinguishable from outboard gear that would cost you thousands of dollars to buy. In this case, the beast of tube gooey glue, the Manley Variable Mu ($4399). Pulsar calls their tech, “Topology Preservation Technology” and describes it on their website like this: “With its unique Topology Preservation Technology, Pulsar Mu sounds objectively identical to the hardware in every production context, and even makes improvements such as an increased signal-to-noise ratio.”
All of this pretty talk doesn’t really doesn't matter and developers have been using the same sort of language since the first Line6 pod dropped. What does matter, then? Pulsar’s Mu sounds amazing… with a big IF. IF you dig the sound and action of the Manley Variable Mu, you’re gonna dig this a lot. If you don’t like the Manley vibe in particular or you’ve never played around with a variMu, Pulsar’s Mu might not instantly pop for you. We don’t do long-form here, but, suffice to say that every tool has a purpose and audio compressors are no different.
Yeah, but, does it sound exactly like a Manley?
We have a couple of Manley’s here in the BrothersBrim family and, for us, these are the types of units that tend to live on the 2buss, tickling 1db of gain reduction. When we set up the Pulsar Mu with the same sort of mission, it sounded great and the sonics and the action were shockingly close to one of the Manleys (a newish one) and quite similar to an older unit. We really, really like the Pulsar Mu on the master buss on pretty much every type of tune we sent through it.
Can you use the Pulsar Mu on vocals, bass, synths…. Yes! Knock yourself out! Should you?I'm not your momma! Experiment! It’s one of the best parts of making music in this magical age. Buy it!
Free 30 day trial at
BUY RECOMMENDATION FOR PROS: YES
BUY RECOMMENDATION NEWBIES: NAW
WORD OF MOUTH: Good (Should be better)
PROS: Pulsar nailed it.