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Pulsar Audio Primavera

Spring Reverb Plug-in By Neil Rogers
Published June 2024

Pulsar Audio Primavera

With an array of different modelled devices and controls you won’t find on the original hardware, have Pulsar breathed new life into the humble spring reverb?

Since their first release in 2017, French software developers Pulsar Audio have been steadily building an impressive collection of plug‑ins, with emulations of esoteric hardware effects and processors that, in the hardware world, would be out of reach for most of us. Regular readers will know that I have a real fondness for hardware spring reverbs, but in some scenarios plug‑ins are more convenient, so I was very happy to check out Pulsar’s latest release.

Overview

Primavera promises us a smorgasbord of spring reverb options based on some classic and often lesser‑seen devices: Pulsar say that it features precise emulations of both the electronic and mechanical behaviour of six classic spring reverb units. These include the Pioneer SR202, Hawk HR12 and Roland RE‑201 as well as more broadly descriptive options they’ve called Twang and Tubby. A final option is GBS, which I assume is based on the Great British Spring, a legendary design that was housed in a sizeable piece of drain pipe!

We’re also treated to a plethora of modern control options with which to shape the behaviour and tone of these virtual ‘springs’, and this promises to make the plug‑in more flexible than any of the modelled hardware units would be when mixing. A quick tour of the ‘unit’ from left to right begins with a preamp section. This offers us the option of driving the input into a virtual valve or germanium preamp, and there’s the welcome addition of simple high‑ and low‑pass filters that affect the wet signal only. Over on the right, a wet/dry blend control allows you to set the plug‑in to only use this preamp stage, only the reverb, or anything in between. The centre section presents a choice of the six emulations, along with the more typical software reverb controls for pre‑delay, decay and width. Less conventional are the controls for Tension, which allows us to stretch or loosen the physical model of the springs, and Excitation, which allows you to dial in more or less of the more explosive effects of physically hitting a spring...

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