Gear Review: TC Electronic Infinite Sample Sustainer

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve plopped down money immediately after hearing about a product without even hearing any demos or seeing any reviews and the TC Electronic Infinite Sample Sustainer is one.

It’s a sample/hold/freeze pedal but quite unlike one you’ve ever tried before. To begin with, the frozen sample doesn’t sound digital or synthetic like many other freeze pedals. It’s rich, natural, and dare I say “organic” and fits much better into your composition without shouting “fake sound” all the way through it. Secondly, it employs the patented TC electronic soft switch for quiet and seamless transitions so no more noisy clicks every time you press it. Third, and maybe most importantly, it’s the first compact unit that I can think of (it’s no bigger than a standard, single footprint pedal like their Flashback Delay for instance) where you can layer sounds. That’s right, you can layer multiple samples over the top of each other and build quite a soundscape. Perfect for composing or live performance. But it doesn’t stop there as TC Electronic built-in three Tone Print slots so you can download or create very specific cinematic palates to suit your own needs.

For instance, Tone Print channel one’s stomach setting is a sustainer and a slapback reverb/delay. Tone Print channel two is a large, atmospheric reverb and a slow flanger.  Channel three is open for your creation but you can change all three Tone Print channels to be whatever you like or try different Tone Prints via the TC Electronic Tone Print app for PC, Mac, and iOS/Android.

Imagine working in your home studio and you have an idea for a drone pedal bed for a song, you grab your instrument, play a note or chord, and grab it with the Infinite Sample Sustainer. Then you have another idea for harmony or a lead line on top. Done. And another drone note. And another. Then you start adding effects with the Tone Prints and on and on and on. Pretty soon you could have an entire piece composed with just this pedal. Not to mention the life it can bring to solo performers (or bands!) to add an unexpected dimension to live sets.

Finally, one of the most thoughtful additions to the Infinite Sample Sustainer is a built-in effects loop so you can add whatever your favorite effects are in addition to the onboard effects, thus making this device a creative monster. Somebody at TC electronic was really paying attention and listening to what players have really longed for. I was so excited I had to rub my eyes to make sure what I was seeing was correct, and at $149 street price, they sure aren’t taking us to the cleaners on this one.  I believe the Infinite Sample Sustainer will soon become the industry standard by which all such devices will be judged going forward and will make writing, playing, and composing music much easier and exciting.

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