bass flute incorrect playback range

will the incorrect playback ranges of some instruments be corrected? i’m thinking in particular of the bass flute. the written range is the same as for the standard c-flute (but not quite as high) but sounds an octave lower. however the dorico version has no playback for written notes below the c above middle c. so while that note sounds an octave lower than written there is another octave below that that doesn’t sound at all (and should).

Unfortunately there is no bass flute sound in HALion Symphonic Orchestra, so the regular flute sound is used as the closest available alternative, which of course means that notes lower than the lowest playable note on a regular flute make no sound.

Hello - noticing this is still a thing for bass flute in 3.5.

How can we edit the allowed playback range for the bass flute in HALion Sonic SE? I couldn’t work it out myself nor online - I get the impression that we are not allowed to tinker with ranges.

I know the original flute samples aren’t meant to be played back an octave lower but I’m hoping it will still sound better than using the general midi sounds. I’m hoping/assuming that halion would use the sample it has for the lowest note (middle B) for the lower notes in the bass flute’s first octave.

If we can’t change this, could someone comment on whether this problem specifically for the bass flute and more generally instrument playback ranges overall are going to be looked at any time soon? I’ve noticed the problem crops up on the forum with other instruments.


As I understand it, HALion (the fully-featured version) allows you to stretch the ranges as you see fit. HALion Sonic SE is a cut-down version, and will not allow you to customise instrument ranges.

As to looking at it in future, Daniel’s addressed this pretty firmly in the past:

Ok, thanks - it’s interesting / frustrating you can’t adjust the ranges in the version shipped with 3.5 (seems like a basic requirement or feature as in other programmes, no?). General Midi it is for the poor bass flute.

I saw Daniel’s comment about how the samples were recorded years ago but I read it as a slight misunderstanding as I feel the OP was more coming from my angle, i.e. we don’t need new samples just the ability to edit the range while using the current samples.

On the face of it, like many things, it seems like a trivial problem, and it would be ace if there could be a fix in a future version so we don’t have to use general midi ever again (unless for nostalgic purposes).

Unfortunately it’s certainly not a trivial problem, and there are both technical and legal hurdles to overcome. Dorico itself is also not a sample editor (in case it’s not obvious!), so you would need to use something more like the full HALion sampler (neither HALion Sonic SE, which comes with Dorico, nor HALion Sonic, the mid-range sampler, has the capability of editing patches directly) and make a lot of choices about which samples to use, how to adjust them, how to counteract the artifacts produced by dramatic pitch-shifting and time-stretching, and so on.

Really, just spend the $120 on Noteperformer if you care about playback at all. It both sounds better and supports far more instruments and techniques than Halion.


Belatedly, I just tried NotePerformer and wish I did so earlier!

I’m quite interested to know why HALion is shipped with Dorico at all when it seems to cause as many problems as it solves (no sounds for harp, bass flute etc, no dynamics on GM sounds when used for the missing instrument sounds), and when, as shown in many cases throughout the forum, people quickly abandon it. Can anyone argue that is really up for the job of decent orchestral playback? Or, at least in my case I feel like i haven’t been able find resources and clear guidance to teach myself how to use it - it’s feels quite cumbersome and confusing.

I expect HALion was used because it was economical. Steinberg owned it and had likely recovered its development costs. It does provide a wide selection of sounds and could be added to the Dorico package at little or no expense that would have to be passed onto users.

This is not much different than MakeMusic using the Garritan sounds. Those used to more sophisticated or extensive packages would likely already have (some of) them or be able to add them on as Dorico developed the structure (as it is doing) to manage them.

When Dorico was originally released, it did not have the structure to handle NotePerformer, but the team worked with Arne W to develop it as quickly as they could.