TC Electronic Infinite vs. Infinite Mini Sample Sustainer – A Hands-On Review


How long can you sustain a note on guitar? Even with the hottest pickups and your amp at glass-breaking volumes, every note will eventually fade out. The TC Electronic Infinite Sustain pedal and its miniature counterpart, the Infinite Mini Sample Sustainer, exist to completely flip this on its head. As the name suggests, it actually provides never-ending sustain, letting you drone your notes out for as long as you desire.

And, lucky me, I was given both of these bad boys to try out. Let me tell you, it was a lot of fun!

But first – some quick details. The original neat, compact pedal has an FX loop, four control dials (Decay, Fade In, Level, FX Type), a Reverb switch, and a latch/momentary switch. The Mini has three control dials: Decay Fade In, and Level. Decay and Fade In, as you might imagine, control the length and speed of your sustain, whilst level controls the output of this effect.

The FX control is where the real magic happens. This lets you determine how many ‘layers’ of sustain you can create. If you have two layers, for example, you can play two notes or chords separately, and they will both keep ringing out together. This lets you create massive soundscapes and sonic textures – exciting stuff. You can even add modulation!

First impressions

Fresh out of the box, the larger pedal is clearly a beauty. The sparkly blue colour really stands out and certainly adds a bit of vibrance to my pedalboard. Each control dial feels super satisfying, and the switches add that extra bit of pizazz to the overall setup. The smaller pedal is just that – really small! It may not look as impressive as its larger counterpart, but it took virtually no space on my pedalboard at all!

I quickly plugged it into my PSU, got my guitar ready, and went straight into my Helix. Starting in latch mode (which means the effect is always on when you activate the footswitch), I had a quick noodle around to get my bearings. A few string bends in, I could just wonder what ‘infinite’ sustain really means! This thing keeps your notes going forever.

Infinite Sustainers are like onions – they have layers!

TC Electronic Infinite Sample Sustainers I’ll admit, I didn’t understand the whole ‘layers’ system, so did a little bit of research. I discovered that you can create different layers of sustain with these pedals, meaning they can drone out different notes simultaneously. Or you can just drone one note or chord at a time – pretty cool!

Using the larger pedal, I started out with just one layer of sustain, I played a single note just to see how it behaved.

The note rang out but it was a bit quiet, so I used the Level knob to get it louder. It made a significant difference! This came in useful as, eventually, I wanted to create a soundscape with these layers, and it was important to set the level right so that I could solo over it at the right volume.

I then proceeded to play some chords, pushing the footswitch down afterwards to activate the sustain and let the chord drone on. This provided the perfect backing for some noodling and soloing, almost like having a basic backing track.

Here, the mini pedal was much the same – it was great for droning notes and then playing over them. These pedals have a really ambient, spacey tone which must be great for shoegaze songs and long, drawn-out instrumental sections. Having said that, singing vocals over this could work well (I didn’t try – wouldn’t want to wake the neighbours with my ‘incredible’ voice).

With a bit of practice, I could see how solo artists could benefit from this – it’s the perfect springboard for cultivating musical ideas and even creating full songs.

More layers

Now, one layer of droned notes and chords was great, but as I said earlier, I wanted more! So, I turned the FX Type dial of the larger pedal and went to work. L2 gives you two layers, so you can play a note or chord, and then layer another note or chord over it by pressing the footswitch once. You can then start replacing the layers with each subsequent press of the footswitch should you wish.

The FX Type dial is one of the features which is not included on the mini version. This does mean it’s more streamlined though, and whilst you get fewer voicing options and a little less flexibility, you get more space on your pedalboard. I could pair it with different pedals if I wished, such as a delay, chorus, reverb, or anything else, which would open it up more.

However, for this demo, I just wanted to test it in its purest form, and the Mini still samples what I’m playing perfectly. It served as an equally good springboard for soloing over – I love the ambient background it provides, which gives each note in the solo an ethereal presence.

With the larger pedal, I started off by playing single notes. It’s great that you can really easily harmonise notes with two layers, letting you build different sonic textures – it also makes it really easy to experiment.

I must say here that if you use a lot of gain (like me), the layering can get quite messy, so I’d definitely advise dialling the gain down. You can turn it back up again when you start soloing over the layers. Remember that this doesn’t just sustain your notes indefinitely – it also adds a tone and feel of its own – especially with the reverb turned on.

With three layers, of course, I found I could start to explore some soundscapes. Flipping the ‘Verb’ switch on the larger pedal activated the built-in reverb, which brought some depth and atmosphere to my tone. It actually has a very unique voicing, although if you’re already using a separate reverb effect or amp reverb, you might find it a little too much!

Anyway, with three layers, I really found that the sound got massive, and more options were open to me. As usual, I played some individual notes to create an interesting harmony, which was perfect for soloing over. Three layers could easily be used throughout an entire song without getting boring.

I then tried to harmonise some different chords (although I feel I should brush up on my theory before attempting this again!). It created a thick wall of sound which could fill out any song with ease.

To infinity and beyond!

Want infinite layers? With the Infinite mode, you can have them! Once I was confident with three layers, I decided to switch to this. As you might imagine, it lets you add layer after layer after layer, without ever replacing your previous layers. This leads to a ginormous wall of sound with limitless potential. At one point I had what sounded like eight guitars playing at the same time.

It can, of course, sound a bit messy if you overdo it. Music isn’t about playing all the notes you possibly can at the same time. It’s about selecting the perfect notes to suit your song. However, Infinite mode is a great tool if you know what you’re doing. You can use it to build chords you’d never be able to play with just four fingers.

Time to take on TonePrint

TC Electronic INFINITE MINI SAMPLE SUSTAINERBut wait, there’s more? I was as pleasantly surprised as anyone to discover that these pedals have even more hidden treasures. Well, not that hidden, but still. The ‘TP’ modes on the larger pedal stand for TonePrint, which is TC Electronic’s huge bank of artist-made presets for different effects, which you access via an app on your phone.

These can be uploaded to the pedal, so you can access them with ease. On the smaller pedal, there aren’t any TP slots, but you can still connect it to the app and change loads of parameters and functions!

From modulation to flanger to delay, you can choose from a wealth of voicings to further enhance your soundscapes – the options are endless! I didn’t play around with these too much, although I did try out the stock delay on the TP1 slot in the larger Infinite Sustainer, which sounded really cool – perfect for creating a spacey, ambient backdrop.

You can even use TonePrint to fully change any TC Electronic pedal into a different type of effects pedal! Pretty cool, eh?

With three TonePrint slots on the big pedal, there’s plenty of room to load this pedal up with different effects and really expand your sound.

Setting the right fade-in and decay

I won’t spend much time with these, as I didn’t play around with them too much myself, but Fade In and Decay essentially control the way the effect fades in and out. It’s best to just experiment with these until you find the perfect levels.

They certainly gave me some control over the atmosphere my sustained notes created, but they’re far from the most exciting feature on the Infinite Sample Sustainer pedals.

Can I have a moment?

Now onto another cool feature – the momentary/latch switch. This alters the function of the footswitch, letting you change it between permanently on and off only when the footswitch is held down.

The momentary mode is great for dipping into shorter ambient sections/soundscapes in your songs. Personally, I found that I preferred latch mode as it gave me the time to create big walls of sound without worrying about the footswitch, but I can see how useful the momentary would be live when you know exactly what you’re going to play.

On the smaller pedal, you simply hold down the footswitch to select between the two modes – so no functionality is lost there!

Final thoughts

TC Electronic Infinite Sample Sustainer PedalsThese pedals are really cool! I think they can be a great songwriting tool, as well as the perfect way to jump straight into soloing if you just want to pick up your guitar and play. If you’re an ambience lover, you’ll certainly enjoy them.

The Infinite Mini Sample Sustainer is a great space-saver for those who want a simplified version, one which still gives you plenty of ambience to build a huge soundscape. The larger pedal, though, gives you a lot more to play with, and the layer-building options can be really magical when used right.

As a metalhead, I use lots of gain, and, as previously mentioned, I’d say that it can get a bit messy if you really do like to drive it hard. Personally, I would use these pedals for clean, ambient sections between heavier parts for the best results and rarely with high-gain settings.

For that reason, I’d favour the smaller version. It’s also a little cheaper, which is a bonus! However, if you wanted to use an Infinite Sustainer as one of the mainstays of your sound, the larger version is definitely the way to go.

That being said, I think the Infinite Sustainer is tonnes of fun and will prove to be useful to a whole slew of different musicians. If you ever come across one, be sure to give it a try.

Find out more

Want to learn more about the TC Electronic Infinite Mini? Watch the video below!

TC Electronic produce a whole range of quality pedals, many of which are compatible with their legendary TonePrint app. Here are a few of our favourites:

Shop now | TC Electronic Vortex Flanger Pedal

Shop now | TC Electronic Corona Chorus

Shop now | TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay Pedal


Guitar Editor

Corin is a trained content writer with a love for all genres, especially metal \m/. He enjoys long walks through the park and sacrificing goats to the Dark Lord on Saturdays.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This