Universal Audio UAD Thermionic Culture Vulture

Universal Audio is cranking out some really high end gear and this one actually surprised me. I never would’ve thought of an emulation of this incredible piece of tube hardware. The Culture Vulture is an analog lover’s dream and outside of most of our price range, but now you can color as many tracks as you desire with the UAD version.

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA • July 8, 2014 — Universal Audio is pleased to announce the Thermionic Culture Vulture Plug-In for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform and Apollo audio interfaces.

For more than 15 years, the British-made Thermionic Culture Vulture has set the standard for studio-grade, high-gain valve distortion, yielding a palette of vivid distortion colors on countless genre-spanning recordings. Thanks to an intense multi-year engineering effort from Universal Audio, producers and engineers can now track and mix with the only authentic circuit emulation of this one-of-a-kind valve distortion tool.

The Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in models the original hardware’s three distinct all-valve circuit topologies and features Universal Audio’s first ever pentode tube circuit model. The Culture Vulture plug-in also offers two features not found on the original hardware — a Dry/Wet Parallel Mix control and a Link function for a perfectly matched stereo image to maximize workflow and preserve balances.

In addition, the all-new Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in features presets from famous Culture Vulture users, including Tony Maserati (Alicia Keys, Beyoncé), Rik Simpson (Coldplay, Portishead), Eric “ET” Thorngren (Talking Heads, Cyndi Lauper), Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), Chris Coady (Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio), and more.

“The Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in was one of our most challenging projects to date,” says Universal Audio CEO Bill Putnam Jr. “Getting the nuances of the various distortions right took more effort and invention that we had ever expected.”

“We decided some time ago that UA would be the best company to make a successful plug-in emulation of our Culture Vulture, and we are very happy to say that the plug-in has exceeded our expectations,” says Nick Terry, Director at Thermionic Culture. “It seems that the Culture Vulture has now taken on a digital life of its own.”

Available for purchase from UA’s Online Store for $299, the new Thermionic Culture Vulture Plug-in is part of the new UAD Software v7.8, along with the Softube-developed Valley People Dyna-mite ™ and Tonelux Tilt EQ plug-ins.

Thermionic Culture Vulture Plug-In Key Features:

  • The world’s only authentic emulation of the legendary high gain, dual-stage valve distortion unit

  • Can subtly alter or completely transform a single track or an entire mix with valve coloration

  • Dial in rich harmonic content with three diverse valve topologies — including UA’s first ever pentode tube emulation

  • Includes parallel Dry/Wet processing and Link controls not found on the original hardware

  • Requires a UAD DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Audio Interface available fromauthorized dealers worldwide

Price: $299

Download new UAD Software v7.8 here:

Learn more about the Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in here:

Learn more about award-winning Apollo Thunderbolt audio interfaces here:

Learn more about award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform here: