3rd Party Instrument Sets

I’ve had Halion since version 1, but don’t think I have actually used it in a production more than once.

The reason is, I think, that Halion sounds are often not very inspiring, and there is a mass of more interesting sounds being developed for NI-Kontakt.

I’ve been subscribing to Sound-on-Sound magazine for many years and can not remember the last time I saw a review of a Halion sound set in their Sample Libraries section. Month after month the majority of the reviews relate to Kontakt libraries - never Halion.

In the face of such competition is it any wonder that third party developers are not taking the time to produce Halion sound sets?

Does Halion stand a chance of gaining a bigger market share?

I think it wil.

I own both and they both sound great, but Halion’s work flow and interface is far superior and more productive.
Things like the slot rack and drag and drop of sliced loops and just dragging audio from Cubase tracks, are seemingly small things but major factors for productivity.
I quite frequently read about users that have switched from Kontakt for day to day work because of the more modern interface and subsequently become more involved in Instrument design.

Halion has only had scripting and the macro page designer since the introduction of version 6.
The learning curve is steep. Not so much because of the language or the manual, because Lua is quite user friendly and the manual is quite thorough.
Definitely more so than Kontakt scripting.

The thing is, we are musicians that have to learn to code and not coders who have to learn to make music. So there are unforeseen scenarios and concepts we have to learn and research on the fly.

I think bigger companies are holding back to see what is what before they commit.

Just on the interface and workflow front, if Kontakt is going to have to make a pit stop to modernise, Halion wil make significant gains.
Quite interesting that Kontakt added wave table functionality shortly after Halion did.

Also, Steinberg is playing the long game. Halon SE comes with Cubase and is better integrated than Kontakt player.

I believe it does. The key is in marketing it at the right times and places, and getting the entry price right.

The ability to use more of the HALion family without a dongle helps considerably. I think if we could bounce licenses between the dongle and the software eLicenser, that’d help even more (so many laptops and things don’t like, or even have those big USB ports anymore, and dongles can sometimes get in the way).

For users starting fresh, contemplating buying that ‘first’ advanced library of sounds, I believe the HALion line can hold its own. It has a lot in the box for the money. It’s a simple Rompler type of setup, but the pallet of choices is diverse, and the quality is high.

The trick is to let potential buyers know about it somehow.

I’m not sure how many people are out there in the wild using Yamaha MOTIF instruments, but Sonic or HALion are great options for those musicians who would like to expand polyphony without spending a fortune on more ‘racks and stacks’, or even to break into software based instruments as a brand new artist. These users are used to starting out with pure and simple pallets of ‘un-inspring’ sounds, and shaping them into something exceptional.

Personally, I find a lot of the add-on libraries tempting when auditioning them, or listening to ‘demos’ that other people have constructed using them.
While the fancy after-market libraries are often very helpful at avoiding listener’s fatigue (warm and fuzzy on the spot score translations) during ‘composition stages’, and sometimes even make composing more FUN and INSPIRATIONAL, they are often a NIGHTMARE to ‘mix’ with voices and acoustical instruments, and ultimately ‘master’ into something you’d like out in the wild representing your hard work.

So, when I begin to work with the realities of blending sounds together and MIXING them to sound good through average loud speakers, cheap home-movie theater systems, and el cheapo ear-buds, or to end up in live performances on stages (often with barely competent people trying to do the mix, often short of critical TOOLS to get a mix under control in whatever room they had 10 minutes to plop their kit down in, cross their fingers, and hope it works), I often end up ditching the big fat/fancy/expensive library, and going back to the simple stuff that can be predicted, quickly/easily isolated, and controlled by the mixing engineers.

So, yes, in my opinion there is HUGE market potential for HALion. If you’re going to be hitting a live stage, HALion is a beast of a fine instrument, that can work its way into the MIXING repertoire of any competent stage/monitor engineer, as well as translate well to the audience mains. I believe the same to be true for many generas of music in the studio…where ‘simple’ often translates into more affordable recording and mixing sessions, that ultimately sound better on more listening devices.

So…yes, there is a huge market for it, even without a lot of third party libraries. If you’re going to be handing a mixing guy a hand full of patch chords to get you into the mix…HALion is really good at sending him things in a way where he can get things under control, and make it work for his rig.

Schools, Churches, Civic Centers…anyone with a stage and a pair of loud-speakers, and an itch to be able to patch in live performers on a ‘budget’…well…the HALion instruments can be a great starting point. Well before a penny is invested in ‘extra libraries’, the launch point can be the same sorts of shoppers who’d be looking for things like Yamaha MOTIF keyboards…they’d just need to learn about their options when it comes to picking hardware/software combinations.

Also, I think more libraries will come. Give it some time, as we haven’t had a free cross platform HALion player for very long. People are still mastering the new LUA scripting abilities. People are still mastering the tools to build custom Macros. Sound designers are still polishing their personal little ‘dev kits’ of which they’ll use as a starting template for their ‘brand’ of libraries.