Thermionic Culture Vulture

Thermionic Culture Vulture

Regular Price: $299.00

$149.00

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Regular Price: $299.00

$149.00

You'll Save 50%

You have no items in your shopping cart.

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.

Now You Can:

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

G. Girard

September 28, 2021

Crispy sounds!

Amazing saturation tool in my arsenal! Just wished it had new bigger UI like the new LA-3A, DBX160 and 1176 ! They look incredible !! Please keep adding the new UI for the classic plugins !!!!!

E. Ananda

July 14, 2021

Such Brilliant flavour

I've tried many another saturation plug-ins but nothing compares to this one. Yes, each has its own flavour but the authentic feel of warmth. None of the others can achieve that warmth the triode gives. then just switching to pentode or overdrive: Wow just wow! Simple controls and you can have so much fun trying to get the sound where you want it.

U. Sound

June 24, 2021

Very powerful

It’s amazing

C. Keepence

April 29, 2021

sweet sat

sweet sweet sweeeeeeeeet sat

E. Acuna

April 19, 2021

The best

It's really an amazing vst, the best....

P. Nortey

April 18, 2021

Just what I needed

This thing here adds color and grit to what I was looking for to give my beats some spice

A. Smirnov

April 14, 2021

Real deal?

Got no money for real hardware. Was not sure if I want this plug or not because of decapitator.
Turned out - this feels much more real and handles low end much better that decapitator. So I guess it’s closer to the real deal. Loving it anyway - beef up machine.

P. Jacobsson

March 14, 2021

It's a beast!

The best distortion unit in my toolbox. Very warm and fat, beefing up tracks even when used subtle.

C. Knight

February 8, 2021

Black box for Black Sound.

best distortion. Can make whatever hard distortion you want. Swiss Army Knife of distortion boxes.

M. DeHaan

January 29, 2021

Also better than the hardware?

This unit seems to sound better on electronic sources than the actual hardware in some ways, and doesn't eat as many low frequencies and there's a bit more flexibility on the gain. Most importantly IMHO, it has a mix knob, which the original hardware doesn't have and really needed.

A. Ashkenazi

January 12, 2021

Truly incredible on everything you put it

The Thermionic is pure magic on everything you put it, from basslines to vocals to weird glitchy leads. It can just turn anything into super awesome in a unique way that I've never heard before!
Definitely recommend.

J. Neves

January 12, 2021

Absolutely amazing!

Unrivalled...

b. zucchetti

January 9, 2021

Excellent as the original hardware and everything of UAudio !

Absolute Top ! Magic ! Must to have !
A great big portable studio in my Mac !
By the time and waiting the right promotion i will buy everything of UAudio!

A. Thierry

November 20, 2020

The Beast

It's my favorite uad tool.. A must have in saturator .. Thanks

N. Assolo

November 13, 2020

La Culture du Grain chaud !

Sublime, rien à dire! j'adore ... l'essayer, c'est l'adopter!

K. Drever

November 11, 2020

Culture Vulture

Excellent distortion. Really love it on everything but particularly vocals.

T. Mai

October 20, 2020

Updated review

Learn to use it properly. It’s prob the best one of the distortion plugin. I’m blown away.

I. Fermin

September 1, 2020

Like a Reliable Friend

Love the convenience of digital, but long for the depth and grit of analog? Look no further than the UAD Thermionic Culture Vulture. Take your tired, old instrument plugins and give them a new life. Well worth it.

T. Mai

August 29, 2020

It’s okay

This plugin is one of the few uad plugins to have mixed reviews. It’s not like other plugins that sounds good from the gecko, takes a lot of tweaking to get the sound you want which isn’t a bad thing but I can get very similar results with Fabfilter Saturn.

D. Warren

August 18, 2020

Vulture

excellent on bass and 808s