Thermionic Culture Purple Bustard | Analog Summing, Valve Sound
Add analog warmth, depth, and character to your mixes by running them through the Thermionic Culture Purple Bustard all-valve summing mixer. The Purple Bustard is a more compact version of the acclaimed Fat Bustard summing mixer, with more channels and the same deliciously fat, warm analog sound.
Thermionic Culture Purple Bustard At a Glance
- 100% valve-driven summing mixer with top of the line sound
- Compact version of the acclaimed Fat Bustard summing mixer, with more channels
- Adds depth, warmth, and character to any mix
- Simple controls with “Attitude” and “Air” knobs to dial in the perfect sound
Analog Warmth in Digital Times
How to work in these digital, ‘in the box’ times? The efficiency and flexibility of digital recording seems indispensable, but for many, the warmth, character, and depth of analog valves is left desired. As top audio professionals know, one of the best ways to get that warmth and space is to run your mix subgroups through a valve-driven summing mixer. Thermionic Culture has built a name for themselves as a top manufacturer of all-valve outboard gear, and their units are known for their exceptional sound and extremely low noise. The Purple Bustard is no different, and gives you top quality valve-driven summing, without wasting any space or making things overly complicated.
When designing the Purple Bustard as a new version of the Fat Bustard, Thermionic Culture listened to its customers and gave them exactly what they were asking for. And what was that? More channels in a smaller container. The Purple Bustard has 16 channels so that it can handle even large, complicated mixes. All inputs come in as semi-floating XLR’s, and each channel has a toggle switch to turn it off and on. Channels 1-12 come in as stereo pairs, and channels 13-16 can be switch to centre (making them mono). The individual channels don’t have a level control; you control that in your DAW (which makes things simpler). The 2 output channels are unbalanced XLR’s, but there is an optional ‘balancing box’ available for those who need balanced outputs.
Simple Controls, Studio Sound
The Purple Bustard is all about simplicity. There are only 4 knobs: Attitude, Air, and Output Levels for the left and right channels. The Attitude setting adds the same 2nd harmonics as the Fat Bustard and is a great way to add ‘character’ to a mix. At low levels, this enhancement is subtle, simply providing more richness and character. However, at higher ‘Attitude’ levels, the Purple Bustard adds noticeable tube saturation, with frequency response purposefully restricted to make the sound more ‘valvey.’ The settings range from 0.01% to 5+%
The Air control boosts the higher frequencies (above 7kHz), adding a very nice “sheen” to the sound. It peaks around 30kHz (well above the range of human hearing) and complements the soft sound of the valves very nicely. Since the Purple Bustard is 100% valve-driven, you can boost the highs considerably without getting any of the harshness that solid-state units give.
The Output levels can be adjusted to compensate for the gain increase from the Attitude knob. As Attitude is increased, the gain will increase by up to 12db, so the outputs can be adjusted accordingly. For the cleanest results, the manufacturer recommends keeping the Output Level high, unless you are adding extra Attitude.
Look Into My Eyes
As the signal level increases, Multi Coloured LED’s in the eyes of the Purple Bustard icon turn from yellow to green to red. This provides a fun, simple metering system and adds to the Purple Bustard’s mystique.
If you’re looking to add the richness and coloration of analog valves to your mixes, Thermionic Culture has you covered with the Purple Bustard. With 16 channels, it can handle even the largest sessions, and it adds the same character, warmth, and sheen that audio professionals have come to expect from Thermionic Culture.
- All valve 16 input summing mixer
- Each pair of inputs has its own on/off switch
- Attitude control adds musical 2nd harmonics
- Air control increases high top end without solid state harshness
- Frequency response extends well above and below audio range
- Easily enough output to drive your DAW and very low noise
- All inputs are “semi-floating” on XLRs
- Outputs are unbalanced. A separate Balancing Box is available separately
- Shares the same natural warmth as the Fat Bustard
- Extremely low distortion (< 0.1%) before Attitude is added.