create a continuous loop in Halion 4

I recorded a 12 bar blues rhythm guitar track in Cubase. Dragged it into Halion 4. Would like to have it repeat over and over while I play and record a lead track against it in Cubase. I know that I can duplicate the 12 measure original track in Cubase, but I am trying other approaches to for this practicing exercise. I can’t seem to get the loop to play continuously in Halion 4. I can make it play as a one shot but then it doesn’t repeat. Does anyone have an idea if this is possible in Halion 4?

Hi)

Sure!

Go to your sample section tab… Right under the waveform on the left side, there are 2 buttons. “Main” and “Loop”.
Click “Loop” and adjust accordingly…

This seems to work only if you hold the key that triggers that sample down the entire time you want it to loop. Is there a way to make the sample loop continuously until another sample steals it’s voices?

I am trying to use HALion for a live situation.

Of course you can make a continuous loop like ggc mentioned, but the sound is killed by the amp’s envelope.
With a normal sample player you would bypass the envelope, but due to some weird behavior the release of the bypassed envelope isn’t bypassed. So your sample will be stopped by the length of the release.

It’s one of the many basic things of Halion 4.5 that don’t work and isn’t fixed.

For live performance involving loops, their are far better alternatives than Halion, but I’m sure you know that.

Awesome info Dunken. That, I found out, in the time consuming “trial and error” period that ensued after my post. Yes, it all depends on the length of your envelope, even when you’ve clicked the “bypass” to the amp envelope section. I love HALion4’s philosophy, but hate it b/c of this limitation and it’s limited looping engine and almost laughably limited manuals/video tuts. I would hold out hope that HALion4 is really a beast, when all those mysterious settings could really be explained. And if Steinberg is listening… I don’t care if you don’t like criticism.

Now Dunken… what was that sampler you’d recommend (he asks knowing there will be more wasted time learning a new interface not to mention the expense)? I just would like a “looper” oriented sampler kind of like what Roland did with their PF-7F, including the ability to pre-program backing track sections to loop, play once, play continuously til the next section is started… that kind of incredibly helpful stuff.

And to Roland… why can’t you send a couple of PF-7F pianos out to your main merchandisers like Guitar Center or Sam Ash so we could actually PLAY a PF 7F?

Rant (off)

I agree about the limitation of the looping in Halion 4. Two things annoy me the most.

1.) You cannot loop a sound when it is set to play in reverse?! Are you kidding me?! This is why I HATE that Halion 4 simply ‘plays’ samples in reverse, more than actually reversing the sample itself. If this was the case, looping could occur. I have lost many opportunities for interesting sounds because I cannot loop when a sample is set to play in reverse.

2.) no ping pong loops. The older Roland samplers had this as well and it was fantastic for extending the tail of percussive sounds, much better for finding ‘hard to find’ loop points, as the playback can sound so much smoother being played forward, then backwards, then jumping back to the beginning to play again after the loop end point is met, causing the pumping, clicking, stuttery sound. It is also unique for creative purposes, as it can really give new dimension and possibilities in creating interesting sounds.

If I could have ping pong loops and loop reversed samples, I would personally be very happy with Halion 4’s looping capabilities. As it stands now, I can get by, but certainly wishing for much more.

Kontakt can do it without a problem with the included MIDI latch script. You can set up in 2 seconds.
Battery also has a latch feature but it doesn’t work as well as Kontakt, because you need to trigger twice for the next sample to start.
Maschine can do it when you sync the loop with scenes.
Live’s stock sampler can do it too, although you have to work with Live.

You can also look at the controller side to stay with Halion 4.5. For instance use sustain (CC64) while triggering continuously looped samples. Works perfectly.
Or you can look for a controller with a hold or latch feature or pads which can be set to “toggle” instead of “momentary” (keeps sending a note on command until another one is triggered).

All great food for thought. Thank you.

scojo:

I feel we’ve left you alone too long in this string. My further thought for your described scenario is in Cubase, not HALion4 simply encompass your 12 bar blues audio recording with the “L” and “R” gates/cursors (L on the beginning of bar 1 and R on the end of bar 12). I hesitate to call them the “Left” and “Right” cursor/gates b/c I don’t believe the documentation ever refers to them in that fashion. After encompassing your 12 bar audio slug, set your transport to cycle ("/" on the number keys). And if there are those moments where you want to anticipate or record/play over the repeat… make your 12 bar audio slug 24 bars long first, then set the L/Rs to bar 1 and bar 24 respectively. In this way you’ll have 1 opportunity to play across the repeat at least once.

thanks everyone. It helps to know when your dealing with a product limitation or lack of knowledge.

UPDATE:
I have since delved into the HALion docs and found very interesting solutions. Looping in HALion very powerful. Just consider any loop on it’s most limited form. Lets say you wanted a loop to have 2 independent ranges for left and right audio in a “stereo” sample… treat each as a mono sample and layer them panned left and right in the mixer.

Looping reversed audio is really as simple as treating a sample that has been permanently reversed as a separate (zone/voice) as well, by activating it through a number of queuing strategies: key select, note number/range, velocity. … etc.

I have discovered a strategy (that’s still a little limited) for a key assigned drum fill to take the place of a static looped drum rhythm… limit the voices for that zone/layer to 2 for stereo playback. When triggering your drum rhythm loop that hopefully has been gated with the AMP envelope to play ad infinitum, striking the key for your drum fill should make the drum rhythm’s voices to be stolen, and the drum fill to sound UNTIL the key for your static drum rhythm is struck again. It takes some manual dexterity and graceful timing, but there’s always Groove Agent SE in Cubase 7.5 now.

Loop Mash could be corralled into this service as well without having to upgrading all the way to Cubase 7.5 as well.