Can I skip install of Halion Sonic SE if I own Halion Sonic 3?

I’ve recently purchased a 2018 MacBook Pro and am doing a fresh install of all my Steinberg products on the new machine. (In other words, I’m not migrating anything from the older MBP.) For a while, I’ll be going back and forth between my 2014 MBP and have moved my Dorico Pro 2 license to the eLicenser dongle. Eventually, the 2018 MBP will be my production machine. (The products have been downloading for about a day and should be ready to install this afternoon.)

Because I own Halion Sonic 3 and will be installing that, do I need to install the Halion Sonic SE that comes with Dorico (and also with Cubase, I think)? I assume that the SE version is a subset of Halion Sonic 3 and that Dorico Pro 2 is smart enough to know where that is and use that. Is it? (I think Cubase also comes with Halion Sonic SE—can I skip that also?)

When I upgraded to Dorico 2 on the 2014 MBP, the installation of “Dorico 2 Orchestra Playback” failed, but it didn’t say why. Why might that be? Is this a separate product? The list of what’s included in Dorico Pro 2 says, “HALion Symphonic Orchestra included.” Might the installer have balked because this is already included in Halion Sonic 3? The installer didn’t say, “You already own this.” Or could it be because the Dorico license at the time was a soft e-license? (Not sure why that would matter.)

I’m hoping I’ll be presented with the option to put all the samples on a dedicated external SSD, rather than have them on my internal drive. If I am installing all my Steinberg products on a new machine, does it matter which product I install first? It seems like it shouldn’t matter, but when it comes to audio software, I stopped assuming things a long time ago.

I’m hoping the answers to these questions will be straightforward. I did try to search the forum, but couldn’t find anything similar to my questions. Perhaps my search criteria weren’t formulated well enough.

Thank you for any advice,


Dorico cannot yet use “big” HALion Sonic or HALion in place of HALion Sonic SE, so if you want to use Dorico’s built-in sounds and take advantage of it loading sounds for you automatically, then you should install HSSE3. It doesn’t occupy a lot of space on your disk, and I have a feeling that it would be quite hard to avoid installing it with Cubase as well: HSSE3 is a kind of shared component that several Steinberg products rely on. I don’t think you have anything to lose by installing it.

For the HALion Symphonic Orchestra installation problem, I’m not sure what might cause that, but if you run the installer again, when it gets to the end, type Command-L to show the log window. You can choose what kinds of messages to show in a pop-up at the left-hand side: choose to show everything, then save the resulting log file, zip it up and attach it here. Hopefully the problem will be easy enough to sort once we can see what it is!

As for installing sounds on an external SSD, you won’t be prompted during the installation process where to install the sounds. At least for Dorico, whose built-in sounds occupy around 10-12GB, if possible I’d recommend keeping them on your built-in drive rather than putting them on an external one. For other libraries in HALion itself, you can use the HALion Library Manager.

Okay, Daniel. This is great. Just what I need to know.

On a hunch I opened the USB eLicenser on the older MBP and found this:

HALion Symphonic Orchestra Trial VST Instrument Set
Steinberg Local, Set, Demo, Expiration Date: 2018-09-17

I upgraded to Dorico 2 as soon as it came out (May?), so I’m a little perplexed by the word “Demo.” I’ll see what happens on the 2018 MBP when I install it.

Thank you so much! Your responses are always a helpful.