Available Halion instruments and small story to share

Dear Forum - Happy New Year!

Telling my story and asking a question as well…
I am still learning :slight_smile: and recently tried to listen and code up an old folk song from Taiwan. Not too fancy but hey it gives me a great learning opportunity. If you are interested, here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c9CG7l-C3A

What I did, just like learning anything, was a rudimentary way, by listening over and over an existing recording, and chose the tracks from Halion instrument plug-in to help me with all instruments. So, I added cello, guitar, and some padding electronic piano background as suggested by Bobby Owsinski (Mixing Engineering Handbook.)

I love the electronic piano padding effects, and cello isn’t that terrible :), but the guitar sounds are pretty lame lol. I am not so sure it is because of my lack of skills to modify the timbre of it or the instrument bank is just lacking. I am just amazed by the 40 different “guitar” output in the dropdown I can’t match one that sounds like the recording.

In addition, the “recorder” Virtual Instrument also doesn’t sound like the instrument is coming from a “reed” effect.

Question - did you find Cubase 12 sufficient with all the available instrument sounds provided by the packaged VST?

I am thinking of adding Quantum EastWest and it is asking for subscription so I can access 4,000 instruments. For one, I am not that knowledge with all of them (will take years to master them,) secondly, it is extremely time consuming.

Over the past month, I upgraded my PC to a seemingly powerful HP laptop of 4TB with 64GB - i7 - Windows 11. It was less than $1,200 and a total disaster. The display was flickering on the first day I received the laptop, and then Cubase 12 ran into huge problems. The tracks wouldn’t align.

No question - I returned it and looking for a M3 replacement soon.

Happy New Year - Thanks!

Student_T (aka Student 101)

Any pointer is much appreciated.

Since I have the full version of HALion, not just “Cubase one”, I have no idea what instruments come with it. With that proviso, I’d say keyboard instruments ranged from useful to good, brass instruments are quite good, bass guitars are good, strings are good. Guitars - I wasted a lot of time trying to make them sound like guitars and ended up buying from MusicLab.
Nowadays, nearly all my instruments are 3rd party, guitars from MusicLab and Impact Soundworks, keyboards from Arturia (especially the organs and the mellotron), choirs and vox from EW and SoundIron, brass from Vir2 (Mojo), “ethnic” instruments from the Native Instruments Spotlight series, all bought over a period of about 8 years. HALion serves me well if I want synth sounds.
As for EastWest - the subscription is fine if you think you’ll use a whole bunch of their products. As you say, you’ll need a lot of time to understand how to get the most out of them. I just bought the ones I knew I would use: Ra, Pop Brass and Symphonic Choir.
Bottom line: try the built-in instruments; if they don’t serve, look for 3rd party replacement, and gradually build up a library of instruments that are useful to you. And wait for the sales before you buy!
Good luck!!
[edit]
I forgot drums - for my purposes, I haven’t found anything that beats GrooveAgent.

Unashamed self plug, but this what the above instruments sound like… And I’m sure others can do much better.

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Speechless… your music way too amazing by my standards … thanks so much for taking time sharing!

You’re welcome!