What is a "Stepp"?

  • In the credits for GUITAR NOIR (I only have the original U.S. version), Steve is credited on several tracks as playing "Stepp." What is this?

    Such are the times we live in, that talking about what's really going on will make you sound crazy.

  • It was a bit more than just a guitar synth. It was the world's first (only?) Digital sampling guitar. Steve used it on one track on his "Momentum" tour in 1988, which I was lucky enough to see at Manchester Opera House. He set up a tape loop with an electric guitar (years before KT Tunstall was doing it, and decades before Ed Sheeran got himself in unjustified lumber with it! :)) then picked up the Stepp DG1, which looked a bit like a transistor radio (a high end one like a Sony ICF-2001D or a Grundig Satellit 700) with a fretboard, and proceeded to create what can almost be described as a religious experience! You could assign different samples to each string, so one had female choir, another male, another organ, and so on.


    The opening of "Concert for Munich" was it's first appearance on a Steve Hackett record.


    Stepp marketing video:

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Wow! I want it :) Guess I'll have to learn to play guitar to play this... :|

    I just love the euphoria from that time: "The acoustic guitar with electric pickup will fade into the background eventually." *cue pictures of gravestones with guitars* - Looks like we are living in a regressive era then :P As much as I love the vibrance and life of acoustic instruments, I am right away fascinated by this electronic thing with its sounds and its possibilities. Sad that every attempt to create any kind of "electronic guitars" ran dry, there has been a bunch of similar things from the 80's (think of the Syntaxe and other midi-guitars) and each of them were only used a small number of times by a small number of players.

  • You might be able to buy Steve's if you can track it down, he sold it around the time of the divorce, I guess partly for the money, and partly as he was unlikely ever to use it again, technology having marched on!

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile