Flandersh Tech Releases FREE Stepocea Virtual Synthesizer
Flandersh Tech offers Stepocea, a FREE polyphonic synthesizer VST plugin for Windows.
Stepocea is a four oscillator polysynth for Windows 8.1 and higher.
A quick look at the GUI will tell you that there’s quite a lot to play with on this synth. It comes with dual amp/mod envelopes and dual multitype filters with envelope and LFO.
The controls for every synth function are laid out well, and the GUI features a nice oscilloscope/spectrum meter.
Flandersh Tech describes Stepocea as a polyphonic synth tuned for spatial, massive leads and pads that evolve in counterpoint.
Anything that offers massive leads and pads sounds good, but counterpoint sealed the deal for me. Well, it sealed the deal as much as possible without a Windows machine, which means I’m interested but want/need you to tell me about those evolving pads!
A few of you have told me to switch to Windows in the comments, and it might be better in the long term, but I’m still terrified of the short-term upheaval.
Anyway, counterpoint comes from having individual arpeggiators per oscillator. Each oscillator also has a dedicated convolution reverb.
Sometimes talking about counterpoint makes people think of Classical music or cheesy Broadway musicals, and that’s part of it. But, firstly, Broadway songs can be great, and secondly, there’s more to counterpoint.
A good place to start is something like Irving Berlin’s Play A Simple Melody. Admittedly, it’s a little cheesy too, but it shows exactly how counterpoint works.
For something more modern, the contrapuntal improvisations of pianist Brad Mehldau are just stunning.
Those examples are a bit out of context compared to how you might use Stepocea, but it’s worth listening to as much as possible.
In terms of an evolving pad, you can introduce more complex rhythms and harmony as it evolves. There are some standard guidelines for which notes should land together, depending on whether you are trying to resolve or create tension. Like everything in music, whatever sounds good is correct.
The good thing about using independent arpeggiators for a pad/soundscape is that you can be pretty ambiguous. Many pad sounds are definitively happy or sad, but in cinematic use, the best parts are often when the sound is most uncertain and uneasy. Using counterpoint to drift in and out of various emotions (without fully committing) is a great way to extend the tension in your sound.
Stepocea isn’t the first synth we’ve looked at from Flandersh Tech; last year, we featured Movementron.
Stepocea is available in 64-bit VST3 format for Windows 8.1 and higher.
Download: Flandersh Tech Stepocea