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$299.00

The original boutique, all-valve, studio distortion tool — exclusively for UAD-2 and Apollo.



A singular, enigmatic piece of all-valve boutique hardware, the Thermionic Culture Vulture is a distortion hedonist's malleable plaything. For more than 15 years, this British-made, studio-grade, high-gain valve unit has provided a palette of vivid distortion colors — from sublime thickening textures to demonic growls of perverted mayhem — on countless genre-spanning recordings.

Now — thanks to an intense multi-year engineering effort from Universal Audio — you can track and mix with the only authentic circuit emulation of this one-of-a-kind valve distortion tool with the Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Get a full palette of high-gain, studio-grade, dual-stage valve distortion

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

Record through the Culture Vulture in real time with Apollo Twin, Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, or Apollo 16

Subtly color or utterly destroy existing tracks, buses, or a full mix with the Culture Vulture using any UAD-2 hardware

Get the same sound and controls as the legendary analog hardware with added features like parallel Dry/Wet processing

Mix with artist presets from Tony Maserati, Eric "ET" Thorngren, Rik Simpson, Chris Coady, and more

5-Min UAD Tip
5-Min UAD Tip

5-Min UAD Tip

In this video, learn how to easily create midrange warmth on acoustic guitars as well as destroy live drums with parallel processing using the Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in.

Take a Listen

Take a Listen
Dominate your Sources with Three Valve Topologies

Dominate your Sources with Three Valve Topologies

The Culture Vulture plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces faithfully emulates all of the original hardware’s sonic proclivities and diabolical details, including its three distinct all-valve circuit topologies.

Authentic, All-Valve Circuit

Authentic, All-Valve Circuit

The Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in captures the natural, “in-between-the transients” dynamic bias response inherent in the hardware's valve-driven circuit — as well as its powerful stereo control set.Use the Drive knobs and Overdrive switches to control the amount of input signal hitting the 6AS6 valves — with up to 20 dB of gain on tap! The Bias controls adjust the incoming voltage, providing dramatic differences in response, from clean to distorted, voltage-starved chatter, and gating effects. Use the Filter controls (9 kHz and 6 kHz) to fine-tune your distortion flavors even further.

Expanded Feature Set for Valve-Soaked Mixes

Expanded Feature Set for Valve-Soaked Mixes

The Culture Vulture plug-in offers two key features not found on the original hardware. Use the Mix control for parallel processing on any bus, adding gentle valve presence, punch, and grit to drums, vocals, or an entire mix. And with the Link function, you’re afforded a perfectly matched stereo image to save time and preserve balances. While the Thermionic Culture Vulture is not a compressor per se, it can act as sonic “glue” on a bus or an entire mix, deftly teasing out tantalizing sizzle and detail with authentic valve heat.

Key Features


Exclusively licensed by Thermionic Culture Ltd., modeled by Universal Audio
Studio-grade, high-gain valve distortion from a subtle warmth to utterly destroyed
Models entire Class A circuit, including the Pentode-driven input amplifier with bias control, plus valve output amplifier
Three modes of operation including Triode and Pentode modes 1 and 2
Overdrive, Output filtering, plus plugin-only Dry/Wet parallel Mix and Controls linking
Requires a UAD DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide

Customer Reviews

Thermionic Culture Vulture

Overall Rating

c. rosario

January 23, 2023

My go to for drums

Love it

I. Bandera

January 13, 2023

Mi piace!

Le saturazioni sono molto diverse fra loro.
Questo lo rende versatile se pur con un suo carattere abbastanza preciso. Lo si riconosce facilmente ma questo è il bello.
Ottimo su molte fonti diverse. Batterie, chitarre, bassi e synth non suoneranno più come prima. Consigliato

J. Brännström

December 26, 2022

Pretty, pretty good.

Best for intermediate levels of distortion. Doesn’t really nail the irregularities of hardware when pushing things hard.

P. Diaz

December 23, 2022

Color for a good deal!

Heavy on DSP, tiny UI but the sound is good. Hope UA updates their UI’s for the amount they charge.

H. Zsombor

December 23, 2022

Dope

Dope sounding plugin, lot of clear warmth

B. Sand

December 20, 2022

Not a great version

Other emulations offer more features with a modern gui. This is outdated.

J. Tabarez

December 12, 2022

This one delivers

Delivers the goods on the mix bus. Sounds amazing!

J. Szeszel

November 14, 2022

A bolder Blackbox

Last touch for Bass. I need dry/wet knob only.

B. Flacher

November 13, 2022

Very good sounding distortion

Pro: for digital it sounds fantastic
Cons: no input gain compensation. Is it that hard?
As usual with uad the handling is years behind.
No reesizeable gui

B. Flacher

October 30, 2022

Best distortion softwsre so far

This is the only one that sounds close enough to my neve 542s without the lowend bump. Great job. Thanky u uad

A. West

August 18, 2022

Insanely Proper Distortion..

This thing can add so much life to drums, Especially a snare that needs to sit well in a depthy mix.. Love It!

A. Picciafuochi

July 24, 2022

Magic in 2 steps!

1 - Place Thermionic Culture Vulture on your Bus
2- Adjust the Drive level and the magic is done!

I. Papagiannidis

July 18, 2022

One of the best mixing tools!

Amazing tool for mixing very useful for mixing ! Manipulates every source perfectly!

R. Chiga

July 14, 2022

Great Box, Great plugin

Very useful. like the real analog box, love it!

J. Welsch

June 17, 2022

Good but causes audio dropouts

sounds great but causes audio dropouts in the whole cubase pj even with low cpu.

l. furnell

June 13, 2022

Crunchy

Very useful for thickening my vocals

A. Gray

June 12, 2022

Love it…

Have used this on many things, it can be used gently to subtly introduce harmonic distortion or it can be used like a wrecking ball and twist the daylights out of wherever it’s fed, all while imparting a warmth. Amazing!!

N. Cote

May 17, 2022

Culture Vulture!!!

Love it! Sounds so good. From subtle saturation to intense breakup. Works great on everything!

L. Zamponi

May 10, 2022

Thermoionic Culture Vulture

AMAZING!!!!!

K. Beleznay

May 3, 2022

Fantastic transformation

It works very well on almost anything.