assign flex phrases to trigger pads to create key switches

halion sonic 2 : full version

I want to assign 8 different flex phrases to the 8 trigger pads. You can do this by rightclicking on the variation and then choose “assign variation to trigger pad”
The reason i do this is because the trigger pads are the only things to assign the variations to. It would be nice i there was a way to assign different plexphrases to a midi note (like a keyswitch). If someone knows how, thanks in advance!

But to get a workaround the next step is to assign a midi note to the trigger pad. That is easy.
I get the blue keyswitch on the minikeyboard in the plugin.
when i play the midi notes, the triggerpads clearly react as expected

But the variations do not follow the triggerpad switching as told them to do by assigning then to the trigger pads.

Where is the error in my thinking?
Or does anyone know how to assign different plex phrases to midi-notes?

tx in advance,
kind regards,

have found the solution. just for the record.

i have to use the snapshot variation (rightclicking) on each trigger pad to let the keyswitches function so that each triggerpad contains a different plex phrase. thus select a triggerpad, select a variation, take the snapshot
if i do this for each triggerpad (and each variation has a different plexphrase) i got the result.

the question remains though if someone knows how to assign different plexphrases to midi-notes so i can use them as keyswitches without the workaround of the triggerbuttons… that would be even better

Hi Roel, what is a snapshot?

right click on the trigger button and choose snapshots variation
then you take a snapshot of the variation that is currently being used in the flex phraser

it is AWESOME to have different plex phrases on one keyboard layout and when you edit these phlexphrases yourself the possibilities are endless
but i do not find a way to assign the different phrases directly to the keyboard… that would even be greater
have not found a single preset that is using this… pffft…, but i`m still on the process of going trough things :slight_smile:

kind regards,

maybe this should be another topic, but an export function for presets with content (something like a monolith file in kontakt) would be very welcome, same for an upload function for preset sharing.

kind regards,


Yeah I agree, but we are in the Sonic forum, in the H5 section there was a preset share thread. I’m not sure anyone got to sharing yet, but eventually I’ll get to it.

An auto user share would be good for tutorial reasons.

just for the record on the topic:
i did finally find some presets where they use this kind of functionality.
all the B-box presets are making usage of keyswitching the variations.
but you can use this method on every place of the plugin where you find variations, and thus also for the flexphrase variations. great!
but it looks like not a lot of people are using this… but i must underline that this is awesome :wink:

I am a little confused. Are you saying you found a way to map a MIDI note directly to a FlexPhrase variation?

I understand that I can map a MIDI note to a trigger pad. I also understand that I can map a trigger pad to a FlexPhrase variation. Are you saying that, I I do BOTH of those things, I can press the note on the keyboard and it will trigger the pad, which will trigger the FlexPhrase variation?


yep :slight_smile:
Didn t know this was not really known.

i am currently making awesome string presets :slight_smile: … man it is fun! There are very nice string phrases available and varying them by key switching gives you some feeling like action strings from NI for example

it is very easy. the clue is to take a snapshot variation by right clicking on each of the triggerpads (snapshot variation) while choosing a different flexphrase variation before you take the snapshot. Important: if you choose to assign the variation by right clicking on the variation button itself and use “assign to trigger pad” it will not work.

for the moment i am even digging deeper by making a Multi, and assigning different string sections and each of the string sections has its own set of variations. that should result in complete automated orchestral sets. :stuck_out_tongue: I think it is a killer feature of the sonic engine. But that is why i put the initial question of the topic. why the way around to the trigger pads. I cant see any reason for doing that. Just make an assign to a note number for those variations.

look on how the presets for B-box and those world drums are made. That is just the same principle but with variations build into thatgui. they work all the same it seems.

kind regards,

and if you want i can for example make a vstpreset where i do this using only the factory content and post it.
maybe this could be a way to share presets or show it.
but i am not shure if that would work on another system :slight_smile:
preset sharing is also something that would be very welcome for this engine because this engine is very very powerfull.

to finalize the topic. Yes, i admit i didn’t read the manual before posting this.
On page 175 it says:

Switching Between Variations
You can switch between variations using the trigger pads. Variations are available for the FlexPhraser and the B-Box, for example. To switch between variations, proceed as follows:
1.Right-click the trigger pad that you want to use for switching to the selected variation.
2.From the menu, select “Snapshot Variations”.
The line above the pad turns orange to indicate that a variation snapshot has been assigned.
3.When you trigger the pad, it switches to the variations that were selected when you made the snapshot.

For FlexPhraser variations, this includes the FlexPhrasers of all four layers and the program.
The trigger pad stores which variations were selected when you made the snapshot. This allows you to change settings of variations even after you made the snapshot.
When layers are replaced or added, you must create a new variation snapshot. Otherwise, the trigger pads will not switch the variations for these particular layers.
To clear the FlexPhraser snapshot:
1.Right-click the respective trigger pad.
2.Select “Clear FlexPhrasers”.

Great feature!
8 different phrases on a single preset.
Maybe they should make an expansion with this calling it Halion Sonic Action Set.

kind regards,

and to show what i think is missing as presets i made a few vstpresets.
they are string sections as mentioned above.

to use them you need:

  • halion sonic 2
  • halion symphonic orchestra vst sound instrument

here is the link:

That is a map of my onedrive that i made public.

The location of these user presets on my system is:
C:\Users\yourname\Documents\VST3 Presets\Steinberg Media Technologies\HALion Sonic

If you have the above mentioned vstis then this should work since i didnt use any user content for the creation of it. it is just to show what is missing (i think) on that great synth in the form of action presets.

kind regards,

Thanks Roel!
Interesting …try to read it again what you are after for in this thread( i use HALion5 ) and do have halion symphonic orchestra vst sound instrument too.
I assume i can use these presets also in HALion5?

and to show what i think is missing as presets i made a few vstpresets.
they are string sections as mentioned above.

to use them you need:

  • halion sonic 2
  • halion symphonic orchestra vst sound instrument

As i understand you assign 8 articulations under the 8 triggerpads for a orchestra vst sound…right?

We moved to another thread :slight_smile:

After figuring out how to assign the keyswitches, now i am just wishing that Flexphraser could also be available as an midi-insert FX. It is quite a piece of gear. Excellent for strings and brass. OK, combining those phrases on different layers can actually result in awesome automated orchestration in halion, but i have east west and vienna instruments too, so i could use them on those too, believe me. :slight_smile:
OK: we can export the flexdata to the midi-track and then copy the data to the other tracks, but that is in my view a workaround and not a feature.

And even a step further would be the possibility to have multiple lanes of flexphrasers in the insert FX each with its own assignable midi-output. That looks strange at first sight maybe, but with proper programming you can have for example a string section, a cello section, a bass section and maybe a little timpani rolling all automated on a single keyboard layout. That would be a really really awesome feature for me, for example when being on a stage.

But as you will note in the topic, there are people who think in the same direction, and others that do not see value in it.

p.s.: if you were checking those presets, just let me know if it does not work or you can not download them.
I checked here on the forum and it should work, but i haven’t tried it out myself since it is made on my system and offcourse it works here.

kind regards,

Thanks Roel for the idea!
Yes, i can use those action VST in HAlion Sonic 2 ofcourse by dropping them, but for HALion5 it seems that they must be registered.
I don’t understand what is under the triggerpad yet…some variations of program . from the flexphraser?
It seems to me one keyswitched sound (staccato ) with flexphrased variations ?
But to use this in a another composer i need the midi output of this, so a midi output for the flexphraser.

For example a Violoncell spiccato Alt has 8 variations and the last one sounds impressive to me ( a movie34 02 flexphrase i see in HAlion Sonic2 ) …to export this one as a midi, but beware when you play this exported midi again in another instance of Halion Sonic 2 that you must set of the flexphraser ?
A testcase …

You have a little record button on the flexprase that you can use to export what you play.
Hit record - play the phrase - stop record - then you have the midi sign next to that record button
drag and drop it to the midi track and “voila” there is your export of the flexphrase.
This is also very nice for the score editor.

kind regards,

and there is also a power brass preset normally.
This one is a combination of the factory content of halion sonic, so there you do not need the symphonic expansion pack. That is combination of two flexphrasers each on its own layer.
Sounds a lot like philip glass in my eye.
But offcourse, this is just demoing the functionality.
With a bit decent effects finetuning they can sound a lot better.
For example the solo strings suffer heavily from the fact that the source samples aren’t very good.
But export that flexphrases and throw it into a vienna solo strings track and that is quite a different result you get then.
That’s why it should be a standalone midi fx. :slight_smile:

kind regards,

and another thing i would love to have is the ability to have something like a monolith fileformat in halion sonic.
The exchange is possible with those few presets because i use only the factory content.
When i would use self made phrases and save them, they are not exchangable since this content of the flexphrase-preset isn’t saved in the vstpreset.

kind regards,

Only thing is tested it with a standalone HAlion, but the action VST preset don’t show up in the HAlion sonic Vsti in my composer, so i am not able to get the same testexample
A collection of all sort of flexphrased midi’s should be awesome for composing
The flexphrased midi can be used for all sorts of VSt and the Halion Symphonic Vst sound set is for 50 Euro a bargain and this is a example Stream and listen to music online for free with SoundCloud

hmmm… if it works standalone then it should also work in the vst.
The location of the preset must be in the user folder of Halion Sonic and the mediabay may be needed to update.
If you can load it on the standalone, and then saving it to your own user folder?
did you try that?

(thankx by the way for helping me check this exchangething out!)

kind regards,