Can Halion create Groove Agent kits?

Can Halion be used to created Groove Agent kits/GUIs?

If not, this would be a nice communication between the two.

Not that I am aware of.

I think there might be some things that you can drag and drop form Cubase, and/or between the two instruments, but they do NOT load each others’ layers, programs, and multis directly.

Both apps can peek inside a VSTsound archive made from either instrument if it’s not locked/protected. In many cases you can borrow the samples from one and use it in another, but AFAIK the presets/programs themselves are in no way compatible. I.E. I can browse GrooveAgent VSTsound archives using HALion 6. I can snoop around in HALion VSTsound archives with GroveAgent 4. Some of the archives are unlocked in a way that I can even drag samples into either HALion, GroveAgent, or even directly onto a cubase audio track, and use them there…but the presets/programs/multis/etc, don’t drag over, and are marked with red signs if browsing with the wrong plugin.

Theoretically, it’s all the same stuff under the hood, with a different UI, and work-flow philosophy on the surface; however, the kits/presets/multis/etc. are NOT cross compatible. Even if it’s possible, and easily done, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. It would seem the separation between the two product lines is intentional.

There are some fundamental differences in how layers are put together that present significant challenges. I.E. A layer in HALion might have dozens of zones under a single parent layer, with samples stretched all over the full keyboard, with complex round-robin schemes, and more. HALion is practically unlimited in the number of zones that can live in a single parent layer. You can even have complex ‘conditional sets’ in HALion as to how/when the zones get triggered. In contrast, GA typically has all samples in a layer associated with ONE PAD (maybe several at different velocities…but still attributed to a single pad/key).

So…the presets/layers/etc. won’t be easily ported from one to the other. True, you could have special ‘modes’ in HALion, to limit it to making a program that is compatible with GA…but in that case it’d easier to just open GA and design from there?

HALion gets dev priority in areas like adding new synth engines, complex looping envelopes, piles of LFO options, loads of ‘conditional’ engines, etc. The arp engines, pattern generators, built in sequencing options and such haven’t changed much for HALion in several versions, and people haven’t really been demanding them either, since they know to use GA instead to build that sort of instrument. Contrast that to GrooveAgent, where there’s not much use for a granular or wavetable synth, don’t really need or want a lot of lfo power, won’t be zoning the same sample across many keys, etc, but the utilities/work flow options for user sequencing, automated pattern/groove generation, etc. have gotten rather considerable development.

Theoretically, you can do many of the same things in both programs…but each one focuses on different needs and workflow demands. The differences are big enough in my opinion, that if you want/need both, it’s worth it to invest in both programs, and simply develop in the one that the library you’ll be building is best suited for.

These days the divide is smaller I think, in that people can invest in commercial content packs made by/for either one, and you are NOT necessarily required to buy the full featured HALion and GrooveAgent product to use it. Free SE variants of the plugins exist for using ready made commercial/third party libraries. Or at least that is the case with HALion now…and GrooveAgent if you’re on Steinberg hosts that ship with SE (perhaps soon GA will have the same free SE player model as HALion, with user ability to make macros and stuff as well).

In short…if you want to develop content for both, invest in both and build the library to ‘fit the concept’ and ‘workflow’ that comes with it from the ground up. Porting the same library so it’d work well in the other UI…requires a lot of thought and planning…so if you intended to make a drum kit for both…even if the sounds and envelopes and all are pretty much identical…you’ll still want to redesign quite a bit of the instrument to ‘fit’ the other UI.

Do note however, that now that users can make and script their own macros for HALion, one could build very similar looking/acting instruments as what we see in the current version GrooveAgent. It could be made to work in the free HALion SE player. It’d take a LOT of work though…custom scripting, etc. Easier to build it in GrooveAgent if that’s the best UI for the job (and hopefully GA will open up like HALion someday, where user macros and scripts can be created in the full versions, and optionally exported to work in a free player…it’d come with kits and examples for more quickly/easily building MPC style instruments) :slight_smile:

In short, sound developers buy the full versions. Content users don’t need all that. Free, or less featured plugins suit their needs. When it comes to using the content packs, stacked instances of the free player, combined with the power of the DAW sequencer is usually more than good enough.

If you just want access to the commercial and third party libraries that are out there…simply load the SE variant of either, and it’s off to the races without any huge investment in the base player technologies.

I do agree though, that it’d be nice if you could drag a layer from one to the other, and retain a lot of things…like say, the dynamic envelopes, the bus routing, etc. That’d be really cool…then again…having a free SE option for both players makes going to that ‘trouble’ un-necissary. Just make the library in the UI best suited for it, and people can get the proper player for FREE.

Thanks for such an in depth reply.

What I’m mostly curious about how/what is used to create the Groove Agent packs that come along with their own virtual drum kit graphics and protocols. From what I can tell, there is nothing in GrooveAgent that would allow me to design my own Kits with GUI elements and layer mixing protocols. I thought maybe these were compiled in Halion, but perhaps the devs have their own private/invite only SDK for GrooveAgent they haven’t released publicly.

I hear you, and I agree.

GA doesn’t yet give users the macro and scripting options. I’m anticipating them as well.

As far as I know, we can’t use H6 to get around those limits. Even if were ‘technically possible’, we don’t have the INFORMATION on how to build the stuff for GA. NO access to ‘working examples’ etc.

We’ll just have to wait until GA development ‘catches up’.

I’m hopeful that soon, GA will take a similar path, and provide a total dev package like H6.

Note, we didn’t get it in HALion either, until version 6 hit the streets. With H5, we could make content that would work in SE, but it was still limited to people with Steinberg hosts (or an investment in Sonic 3 at least), and we could not make custom macros. We could script some, but the documentation on it was sparse, and kits to study and get examples from didn’t exist.

Many of us didn’t really care about macros, or distributing our HALion specific work to others…the HALion UI is good on its own. So we purchased it anyway, purely for our own personal use. Many others balked though, because NI had the tools to ‘distribute’ their work in a more consumer friendly way. Now HALion has it too :slight_smile:

H6 really opened the door though, and gives it a shot at competing with the likes of Kontakt and other similar engines.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that GA does the same soon.

Maybe 6 is the magic number!

My fingers are crossed :slight_smile:

I’ve piddled with the Macro and LUA capabilities of H6 a bit.

It seems entirely plausible that you could build some nice MPC styled things in H6, and set them up so they’ll work in the free SE Player. I doubt they’d be easily portable into GA anytime in the foreseeable future though. It’d be a Sonic instrument forever…which isn’t bad as long as people can get the free or cheap player for it.

Getting the base layout and functionality for a power user interface where users could drag your own samples to a pad and such, while possible, would NOT be trivial. Once you got it built however, you could use the frame work again and again for making new libraries.

However…if you simply wanted to make drum kits with that MPC look and feel, or, have the dancing drum kits look like we see in a lot of the newer GA content, with a set slate of sounds hard-wired in, some groove engine stuff, and a creative/intuitive mixing console with effect options and such…it wouldn’t be all that difficult once you got your feet wet in understanding how to set up and connect the macro elements.

You could ‘mimic’ GA in HALion to a very large degree…but it’d still be a Sonic/HALion instrument.