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Frankfurt 2009: Thermionic Culture (Video)

Little Bustard & Culture Vulture Anniversary Edition
Analogue hardware experts Thermionic Culture have a loyal following, so much so that numerous high-profile engineers, including indie-rock specialist Peter Katis, own ‘one of everything’ in the Thermionic range. The latest news from the company is the release of two new products: the Little Bustard and the Culture Vulture Anniversary Edition.

The Little Bustard (top) is a 2U rackmountable summing mixer with 16 line inputs arranged as six stereo pairs and four mono channels. The stereo pairs (inputs 1-12) have simple on/off switches, while the four mono inputs have level attenuators and defeatable pan controls (when the pan control is bypassed, an extra 6dB of channel gain is available). All 16 inputs feed the stereo master bus, which features two pairs of tubes (ECC83s and PC86s for the input and output stages respectively on each channel), and also has individual fine-stepped knobs for setting the level of each side of the stereo signal.

What’s more, the Little Bustard can be used in harmony with its older sibling, the Fat Bustard, to create a 28-channel summing device, by feeding its output into the larger device’s Aux input.

The other new product, the Culture Vulture Anniversary Edition (above), will be manufactured as a limited run of 80 units. Although cosmetically distinguishable from its forebear by a bright red faceplate, the Anniversary Edition is much more than a facelifted Culture Vulture.

The new version uses Mullard and Philips tubes (a different combination than what’s found in the standard Culture Vulture), and features ‘peak’ distortion settings that emphasise musical notes. Using these, if you’re tracking a song in the key of ‘A’, you can pick the best setting for the song. Additional ‘squash’ settings provide radical effects that can add that distinctive edge to your tracks.

At the time of writing, the price for the Little Bustard was still to be confirmed. The Anniversary Edition of the Culture Vulture will be £1639 including VAT. 

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