TC Electronic Sub 'n' Up vs Sub 'n' Up Mini

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Darlacat, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Darlacat


    Oct 31, 2017
    I'm in the market for a new octave pedal for a bass-and-drums project I'm starting up, and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on TC Electronic's Sub 'n' Up against the mini version. Is the 'big' version worth it purely for the versatility of having the poly, mono, and TonePrint options? I'm also looking at picking up another octave pedal, probably the Mooer Tender Octaver MkII, using one for octave up and the other for octave down.

    I'm also intrigued by the Sub 2 function, which is on the 'big' version, but absent on the 'mini' (I believe the 'up' on the mini can be re-programmed to a Sub 2?). Does anyone have any thoughts on using the Sub 2 on bass? Will frequencies that low damage my speakers? My amp set up is an Ashdown ABM 500 EvoIII into an ABM 4x10 and a 1x15. My bass is a Fender USA Jazz 4 string tuned down to C (for this project).

    Thanks in advance! :D
  2. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Both have the exact same sound capabilities. The mini is not as easy to tweak live, because of the missing switch and knob. That’s the kind only difference. I got the mini to save board space.
    gscroggin and berman3313 like this.
  3. If you are getting into the b&d thing you should seriously Chevy out the TRex Quint Machine. Octaves plus fifth, tracks fast, sounds sweet and works great with effects. I did a review last week.

    I have a sub n Up mini and it's cool but the Quint blows it away on tracking.
  4. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    From the youtube videos, it does seem to track better. The pog seems to track better than either one. The octave downfrom the Quint has a nice natural tone. But I got mine 100% for the octave up, which sounds more natural on the Sub'n Up. The warbly/chimey tone of the POG makes my teeth itch, and the attack on the Quint has a weird flamming sound to it on the high notes.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  5. Of them all the Quint is my favorite so far. I tried them all and have collected several that I use probably too much . ThankWhammy several versions, UniBass, Sub nUp, Pog, Zoom, Mooer, Boss,
    Winton likes this.
  6. Darlacat


    Oct 31, 2017
    Quint looks interesting...but purely a fifth seems a bit limited to me; I don't think I'd get much use out of it. Have you had any experience with using the TC Electronic Quintessence? I like the idea of having multiple harmony options, and being able to set it to modes, etc. Would the Quintessence work well with an octave pedal, or will the tracking go haywire and produce a digital mess?!

    I've now found a cheap Sub 'n' Up mini on EBay. My aim is now to pick up a standard Sub'n' Up or Mooer Tender Octaver and use one for octave up and the other octave down.

    One thing I am interesting in using is the Sub 'n' Up's 2 octave down function. However, would using this function - especially as my lowest string is tuned down to C - potentially damage my speakers? The lowest note would be C-1 coming out of the pedal? As noted above, my set up is an Ashdown ABM 500 into a 1x15 and 4x10. I have been using the subharmonic feature on the amplifer, but it is very subtle.
  7. I have tried other pitches for harmony as well as intelligent harmonizers from Digitech and Zoom and they have always left me a bit buggered with the results and bug eyed trying to figure out how to use them musically. Octaves and Fifths are good enough for my dullard brain.
    As far as subharmonics go I'd not really worry most bass amp engineers have looked out for the idiots children among us and put safeguards in place [unless you bypass those].
  8. Gdeak


    May 21, 2016
    San Diego
    A vote against the Sub N Up Mini. I have an MXR deluxe bass octave on my main board. Grabbed a cheap open-box SnUM for a mini-board I'm putting together. Returned it after ~1-2 hours of experimentation. The octave up was good actually. But the octave down had a noticeable lag. Tried my basses with best passive, active, and piezo pups, and any blends, directly into the pedal. Tried a slew of settings and toneprints. Nothing got rid of the noticeable lag. A/B'd it with my MXR and the MRX definitely tracks octave down faster, and has a better "natural" sound (although of course the toneprints give you some interesting options).
    BTW I had previously tried and sold Mooer Tender Octaves, both V1 and V2, and returned them because I didn't like the synth-y sounds (I mostly play jazz).
    Oh well, back to the drawing board. Recs for decent not-too-big octavers welcome.
  9. One thing too keep an eye on is the new Source Audio Spectrum pedal once it is released as a combo Octaver and filter pedal with the ability for much control via the Neuro App. It will be late summer but may fit your needs, it will be released shortly after the C4 Synth pedal.
  10. Gdeak


    May 21, 2016
    San Diego
    Thanks for the heads up! Will be interested to try that.
  11. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I'll recommend the Sub'n'Up, particular if what you are after is the upper octave, and I'll recommend the cheaper Mini version specifically if you don't really need to be able to switch between different settings/modes or need to have control over more than just 3 parameters on the fly, like for instance the level of the clean signal, the 1 octave signal up and 1 octave down signal, which is the Mini's stock knob assignments.

    The Sub'n'Up Mini functions exactly as the bigger regular version, with the exact same octave engine, just with fever physical on the fly controls, lacking the mode switch between polyphonic, monophonic and user preset, though this can be set via the Toneprint app, as well as only having 3 available control knobs compared to the regular version's 4, the Mini from stock lacking the 2 octaves down knob, though the knobs can be assigned to whatever function you wish via the Toneprint app.

    So if you want you can assign the 3 knobs on the Mini to control for instance clean signal, 1 octave down and 2 octaves down, instead of it's stock knob assignments of clean signal, 1 octave up and 1 octave down, as well as you can set the range and curve of the knobs, or even assign more parameters to one knob, all with different ranges and directions, including the "hidden" parameters for EQ and modulation effects from the Toneprint app.

    So to sum it up the Mini has exact same functionality and effect engine, and with exactly as many features as the bigger version, just with less on the fly physical controls.

    Other than that, it's a really good octaver, tracks perfectly, at least from my experience with a 4 string bass with the lowest note being low E, and has really low latency too.

    To me the upper octave on the Sub'n'Up also sounds more natural than the EHX POG, which has a bit of an organ like quality, if that then is an advantage I guess will be up to personal preferences, but personally I prefer the more natural sounding octave up of the Sub'n'Up to the POG's more organ or synth like tone, even if pitched signals will always sound a bit artificial no matter what.

    Another plus of the Sub'n'Up compared to the EHX POG is that you can tailor your octave tone exactly to your liking with the Toneprint app, which beside offering 2 pre and 2 post effect EQ's, that can be set to function either as high/low shelf, HPF/LPF or full parametric, also has the option for adding either a flanger, chorus or vibrato to your octave effect, with access to several different types and all the common parameters needed for those effects.

    Or you can load one of the many presets that the pedal comes with, and download even more for free from TC Electronic's home page.

    Some of these will even be different from what you can achieve by messing with the accessible parameters in the Toneprint app yourself, as TC Electronic cut out some of the more in depth parameters of the octave engine from the user version, since messing with those quite easily could result in useless tones or even potentially cause speaker damage.

    I very rarely use the octave down function and never the 2 octaves down, so can't really say too much about those, but to me, from what little I've used the 1 octave down function, it seemed to work and sound just fine to me.

    The monophonic mode have a bit richer tone, with a more complex texture, more akin to that of an analog octaver, but I only really use the polyphonic mode, as I need my octaver to be able to track chords and double stops perfectly well, which the monophonic mode can't really handle, and if done anyway will result in glitchy sounds, just like with an analog octaver.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    gscroggin and retslock like this.
  12. I will say i do like the SNUM on my small board and use the natural octave up and the tron flute sounds. on my other board i am using it just for the tron flute for the solo on 'little wing'
  13. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I haven't played a Sub 'n Up. I did briefly have a Quint Machine and have a Micro POG. Made this clip of them in 2014. Thought I'd posted it previously on TB, but didn't find it, so here it is:

    Don't recall exactly how I set up each pedal, but I'm pretty sure that I put octave up, octave down, and original signal all equal -- whether that means "knobs at noon" or "set by ear" I don't recall. I did not use the 5th on the Quint when comparing with the POG (but might have for the goof at the end).

    You're hearing:
    1) straight bass
    2) Quint
    3) Micro POG
    4) straight bass (with some chords)
    5) Quint
    6) Micro POG
    7) a quick goof with both pedals (I'd discovered the show Trigun and tried to channel a bit of that vibe!)
    gscroggin likes this.
  14. I recently bought a used mini version. I’m using the octave above most and I’m wondering how I can stop it from sounding like I’m in a tunnel. Do you have any idea if I can get rid of that tunnel sound? Otherwise I’m happy with the pedal.
  15. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    As I honestly have no idea what a "tunnel" sound involves I can't help you specifically, but sounds to me like an EQ problem, so messing with the 1 octave down EQ in the Toneprint app, eventual the input EQ as well, should be able to remove the "tunnel" effect, as far as I understand what you describe.

    You got 2 bands each for both the 1 octave down output EQ as well as the EQ for the input signal to the octave engine as a whole, all 4 bands can be set individually to either act as a normal parametric band EQ, with a full set of parameters, a lo or hi shelf type EQ, or a lo or hi cut EQ.

    My best guess, not really being sure of what you mean by "tunnel" sound, is that you properly need a bit more high end in the 1 octave down signal (perhaps a hi shelf EQ set to a starting point somewhere in the lower high frequency range with a not all too steep curve, though that is just a guess), maybe boosting the upper mids a bit too.

    As said this is just a wild guess though, but anyway, if I understand you right messing around with the the EQ settings in the Toneprint app should be able to solve your issue under all circumstances.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Ken Green and retslock like this.
  16. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Bunch of good options out there, but POG, Tender Octave, Sub n Up, and other small digital octavers generally fail at solo'd octave down sounds, which I would consider necessary for a DnB sound. The exceptions are DigiTech BSW/Dirty Robot, plus maybe some Line 6 box out there (this one is controversial) and maybe the Boss SY-1 (not that anyone has actually been able to try yet). Pigtronix Mothership, EHX Octaver, Foxrox are out there, OC-2 and derivatives (Octabre, new MXR), and neuvo competitors (IE, Copilot) work well too.
  17. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Can I ask why you would require two different S&Us for an up and a down? Do you need them to be in different spots on your board?

    I don't have any experience with any other octavers other than the full size S&U and the Aguilar (which doesn't have an octave up.)

    As far as I'm concerned, the Sub2 on the S&U is just useless mud for my E tuned Spector. If you can make it work for you I'd be interested to know how you did it! (I haven't plugged into the TPeditor, but I should do that to reassign that dial to something more useful.)

    Other than that, I've been pretty happy with the full size S&U.

    Good luck in your quest!
  18. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Sorry, I read it as octave below for some reason, the advice still stands though, even if I still don't know what you mean by "tunnel sound", only of course you should use the EQ for the 1 octave up instead of the 1 octave down.

    Probably isn't a matter of too little high end you try to describe by the word "tunnel sound" either then, still the EQ in the Toneprint app would likely be your answer.

    I have mine set to a high shelf from 6,3Khz with a -12dB/Octave slope, and a low cut from 75Hz, on the octave up's output EQ, and the input EQ got a low cut from 35Hz, and a high shelf of 5,6Khz with a slope of -9dB/Octave, also I made a low cut of 20Khz on the 1 octave and 2 octaves down output EQ, yes, you read it right, I killed off the output signal of the 1 octave and 2 octaves down completely, since I discovered that apparently some of their signal was slipping through to the 1 octave up, even if they were turned down completely and I only had the 1 octave up turned up.

    Finally I run a subtle compressor in front of it, as well as my 1 octave up signal goes through a preamp, mostly boosting the mids slightly, but now it does also sound really great.

    I guess I need to mention that the way I use it is to create as realistic and natural sounding octave up signal as possible that I run in parallel signal patch to my bass signal to sort of create the effect of me playing an octave bass, as in a bass that has pair of bass and octave strings, only this way I can manipulate the two signals separately.

    Adjusting the EQ for the default polyphonic 1 octave up effect in the Toneprint App like I described it might do the trick alone for you, feel free to change it a bit though to fit you preferences, but something in that ballpark should remove the low end slipping through to the 1 octave up signal and at the same time cut off most of the shrill top end and digital artifacts.

    Be aware though, that for some strange reason, by cutting off the 1 octave and 2 octaves down signal, via their output EQ in the Toneprint app, the 1 octave up signal becomes much louder, way above unity level, even before the octave up knob is maxed, so you will need to have it turned considerably down from where you have it set now, if you follow my suggestion.
    AlexanderB and retslock like this.
  19. Thanks for your advice - greatly appreciated. I guess I should have tried to give a better description of “tunnel” sound. I would call it a very coloured sound, not as clean as it should be. A sort of reverb but not quite as though it is being processed somehow - distant and just like playing in an underground tunnel might sound like (in my imagination). This is all brand new to me, I’m not normally a pedal guy. I tried to use the Toneprint app on my iPad but don’t have the correct adaptor cable so I need to get one. I can’t edit yet, only download existing patches. Thanks again.
    JohnArnson likes this.
  20. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I assume you are aware that pitching a signal up or down a whole octave always will end up sounding somewhat artificial and odd, but in my opinion the 1 octave up tone of the default polyphonic octaver in the Sub'n'Up is about as natural sounding as it gets, much more natural sounding, if that is what your going for, than for instance the EHX POG, which has a somewhat synthy organ like quality to it.

    The EQ settings in the Toneprint app to the default polyphonic octaver that I suggested should make the 1 octave up signal sound even better though, cleaner with no low end bleeding into the signal, and with much a less shrill top end and strange annoying digital artifacts, all in all making it sound more tight and clear.

    Hope it works for you, did for me at least.

    Really satisfied with how my 1 octave up signal sounds now, though as I mentioned beside the changed EQ settings in the Toneprint app, I manipulate it further with a compressor in front of it and a preamp after it.

    It might be a good idea to invest in a compressor to put in front of it, it will help with the octave up signal sounding tighter as well, but not stricly crucial, and the suggested EQ settings will still be what tightens up the tone of ii the most.

    Just be aware that using the EQ settings that I suggested you won't be able to use the 1 octave and 2 octaves down effect, as long as you got that Toneprint patch loaded into your pedal, and as said it will increase the output level of the 1 octave up signal considerably.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    AlexanderB likes this.
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