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Thermionic Culture Vulture or Phoenix MIDI Processors
Old 12th August 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thermionic Culture Vulture or Phoenix

Hey all,

I'm currently saving for some high end tube outboard gear and would like some help identifying which Thermionic Culture gear can get me this sound. You can hear it straight from the beginning, how the kick crunches and compresses. I tried getting this unique, musical subtle crunch/excitation with both the Analog Heat and the Sherman Filterbank but neither of them cut it, not even close, they both just came out flat.





I hear a slightly "starved plate" tube crunch sound, but also a unique kind of compression characteristic. I was wondering if any Thermionic owners could help me identify whether this can be achieved with the Culture Vulture alone? or does this sound more like the Phoenix? I know this producer owns both. I only can afford one for the next while so I am trying to choose wisely. I know he also has the Bustard which is out of my range, and some Gyraf gear too, but I'm almost certain it's either the Vulture or Phoenix for that unique crunch/compression vibe in this track.

Another note: the guys at my local audio dealer told me that the Culture Vulture Standard is the most returned/serviced/faulty device in their entire shop, whereas the Super and Anniversary editions seem to have almost no problems. I'm wondering what your experiences are in this regard? There is a $1000 difference between the two but from what I've heard about Thermionic build quality, it sounds like it's probably worth it to fork over the extra for the more reliable box & Mullard tubes.





Cheers
Old 13th August 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 
coso's Avatar
 

This sounds to me like the same beat in parallel through a fast compressor and a vulture with high drive and high bias. The latter will give you exactly this gritty, gated madness. People are sometimes critical of the vulture for being difficult to tame but the payoff is its ability to produce these extreme results. Turning the bias the other way equals pure audio destruction.

The phoenix is wonderful and can be driven but is the opposite of gated. It may have been used on these productions to further enlarge the beat or gently on the mix but I wouldn't consider it a vital ingredient for the genre.

So, buy a vulture! I think build precision has improved in recent years in response to the bad press so I would avoid very old units. The special editions often use more expensive controls so I would expect them to be even more durable.

Old 13th August 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thanks. That was exactly the response I was looking for. I think I'm going to go for the purple 20th anniversary vulture!

Cheers


Quote:
Originally Posted by coso View Post
This sounds to me like the same beat in parallel through a fast compressor and a vulture with high drive and high bias. The latter will give you exactly this gritty, gated madness. People are sometimes critical of the vulture for being difficult to tame but the payoff is its ability to produce these extreme results. Turning the bias the other way equals pure audio destruction.

The phoenix is wonderful and can be driven but is the opposite of gated. It may have been used on these productions to further enlarge the beat or gently on the mix but I wouldn't consider it a vital ingredient for the genre.

So, buy a vulture! I think build precision has improved in recent years in response to the bad press so I would avoid very old units. The special editions often use more expensive controls so I would expect them to be even more durable.

Old 14th August 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 
radiumboy's Avatar
 

Blimey, did not know there was a purple one.

I have the red super 15 version, it fulfills all my distortion needs very well.
Looking at the pictures on the thermionic site it seems that the purple one doesn't have all the peak and and extra distortion modes that the sp15 has.
There is tone for days in all those options.
And some outright filth.
I use them a great deal and would not like to be without the options they provide.

If you can, check them out side by side.

No complaints about the build quality of both my thermionic units, i have the phoenix as well.
Old 15th August 2018
  #5
Old 15th August 2018
  #6
BlackBox Hg-2
Old 15th August 2018
  #7
Here for the gear
I have always wanted to know about this. Hope someone drops some knowledge.



Bun102
GSol Production - Song Production | Music Mixing and Mastering Engineer | Film Composer
Old 16th August 2018
  #8
Gear Addict
I have a Super 15 and Phoenix Mastering and they're totally different beasts. For pure saturation and distortion at varying levels, the Vulture is the box for the job.
Old 16th August 2018
  #9
Here for the gear
 
groovyomega's Avatar
 

What if I told you that Blawan already had that kind of sound when he was still producing completely in Ableton Live?
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