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w495 EQ plug-in from Pulsar Audio

Free to download until 31 October 2023

Pulsar Audio w495 Neumann analogue three-band mid-side EQ plug-in

Pulsar Audio’s latest plug-in, Pulsar w495, is an accurate emulation of Neumann’s w495 three-band EQ that comes kitted out with modern features such as on-screen curve editing and a built-in spectrum analyser. Even better, the company are currently offering it for free for a limited time.

The plug-in promises to preserve all of the features that made the original hardware popular, with its wide bands remaining musical even with more extreme boost settings and excelling at adding character to both individual tracks and full mixes. Pulsar Audio say that w495 provides a component-accurate model of an original unit, capturing the subtle saturation added by each band as well as effect of the device’s output transformers.

The low and high bands house shelf filters that offer ±15dB of gain, with a choice of three frequencies: 40, 60 or 100 Hz for the low shelf, and 7, 10 or 14 kHz for the high shelf. The mid band then provides ±10dB of gain at 11 frequencies between 175Hz and 5.6kHz, with three selectable Q options. As well as providing authentic stepped controls, the plug-in can be set to a continuous mode for finer adjustment. Each band is also equipped with its own independent mid-side options, allowing processing to be focused on just the mid or sides element of a stereo signal on a per-band basis.

Continuing with the new additions, w495 is equipped with a built-in spectrum analyser that provides a visual representation of the incoming signal, with real-time and long-term options provided. An on-screen EQ curve is displayed over the top, and can be edited directly with the mouse as an alternative to using the knobs below. Peak and RMS metering is included, too, making it easy to monitor overall dynamics and loudness from within the plug-in. There is also an Auto switch, which engages an automatic gain compensation feature to keep the output level consistent when changing EQ settings.

w495 has been optimised to ensure minimal CPU usage, and oversampling options with rates up to 384kHz are provided for those whose computers are up to the task; the plug-in also offers a setting that allows higher oversampling settings to be applied at export, with a lower setting in place for playback.


Pulsar w495 is supported on PCs running Windows 7 or higher, and Macs running macOS 10.9 and above. It is available in VST2.4, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in formats.

Pricing & Availability

Pulsar w495 is available now, and is free to download until 31 October 2023, after which it will be priced at $49.

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