Posted by DesignAWay

3D Games Design with Step Sequencer for Unity

step senquencer

If you’re more into the creating of music than merely replaying or reciting it, then the usual music game offerings for pretty much all of the consoles that you can think of really aren’t going to cut it. Though games such as Rock band and Rocksmith serve a purpose of entertaining the masses by making them believe that  they are actually playing music merely by tapping the right buttons at the right times on make-believe, instrument-shaped controllers, those looking to make music simply cannot use these kinds of games as tools to fulfil their creative needs. For this kind of requirement, you usually have to look at professional software such as Cubase or FL Studio, but not all musical creativity needs to come at a such a relatively hefty price.

Some kind developers out there pour their heart into providing us with free-to-use music production software (of sorts), and one such product of this good-natured generosity is Step Seq., a simple yet nifty piece of sequencing software based on the Unity platform and available to use for free in your browser.

Step Seq. from develop Quick Fingers works just like any other step sequencer, allowing you to tinker with a grid-based interface with each square representing notes that can potentially be played. Simply click each square with your mouse in order to fill it in so that the note sounds as the play bar runs over it after pressing play. The volume and tempo of the notes are controlled with sliders on the top right of the screen and sixteen notes fit on the page, up to a total of a maximum 8 pages. If this sounds pretty basic then that is because it really is, though this is what this piece of interesting software is meant to be.

Where the software gets interesting is in the ability to actually layer different melodies by using the two instrument layers and also the single percussion layer. One can therefore compose a melody in one layer and switch to the other in order to provide backing melodies or harmonies, and obviously chords can be achieved as well. In fact, you can have every single note in the chosen key and within the octave limit playing, though this makes for somewhat of an unfriendly sound at best. These aforementioned features are of course expected as a minimum from any step sequencer, but since this one is free and so well presented, I thought it best to highlight them.

And everything is truly presented in a very stylish manner: the musical grid takes up most of the space with clear options on the right of the screen including an advanced section where you can select the exact key of your music from an impressive range (major, minor, dorian, mixolydian, lydian; you name it, it has it), mix the different layers by adjusting volume and applying some basic effects, and even change the mild visual effects applied to the sequencer to make it look a little fancier (purely superficial, but cool nonetheless).

What musicians will want to know is if Step Seq. can be used as part of their production setup. Well, the short and long answer is no: this sequencer simply isn’t powerful or advanced enough to stand amongst any paid-for music production software. However, it is a perfect little tool if you want to get a melody into basic but audible form before you forget it, or so that detail can be added later. Step Seq. is essentially a basic form of a musical notepad with some very basic effects but some fantastic presentation and the capability to allow you to get any kind of tune out there down on “paper”, but it makes a change from the usual just-for-fun musical games such as Music Catch. You can of course save your tune and upload it to an online database where the tunes of others can be accessed, which is another fun aspect of this software because you can peruse the creations of others and even be inspired by them. This free Step Sequencer flash game definitely surprised me and exceeded by expectations of it being an average, run-of-the-mill sequencer by being extremely well -presented, varied, and a generally useful bit of kit to jot down any musical ideas floating around in your head.

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