Step filter is an interesting idea that comes from idea of sampling and then sequencing these samples. This idea applied to guitar playing was always very attractive to me. Since I remember to be honest. My first guitar synth I owned being 13 or 14 years old. And it was DigiTech XP300 that I need to send to service now. And will not afford different effect immediately. But there are now plenty.
Here samples are some filtered songs at specified octave and bandwidth of frequency boosted for example. And the processed but everything digitally. What means behind your intuitive analog operations lies an algorithm.