Creating your own libraries (vstsound files)

So with H7 release, I’m really interested in creating some of my own sound libraries and putting them online for sharing.

Trouble is i’ve never been able to get my head around how to create the vstsound file so that you can share it out with samples self contained etc. As the free lamps library that Matthias put up many years ago:

There just seems to be no information or tutorials around for this, and the terminology used by Steinberg is so similar for different aspects that it can be confusing too. Seems that you have to go through the library manager now, but different steps if you’re wanting to use it in full HALion vs Sonic?

So, Could anyone get me on the right path? Just want to create a file that can be loaded universally, with a thumbnail image, even better. :slight_smile:

I’ll probably learn it all inside out and then put some tutorials online myself to help anyone in future, as this lack of information surely is why we don’t see many libraries being shared? I could just be searching for the wrong keywords of course! :slight_smile:

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You can find some info in the manual here:

But in short, you create the instrument in HALion. Add macro page, midi modules, effects…

Attach the macro page to the program layer. While you can create macro page for any layer or midi module you may not be able to access it in HALion Sonic.

Make sure you have one bus at the top level. If you want more busses and effects that’s fine, just create layer busses.

When your instrument is ready export it as VST3 preset and turn on the As HS Layer option.

Now open HALion Sonic and load the layer preset you just exported. Check if everything works and save or export it as a program. You can create multiple presets as variations.

Go back to HALion 7 and open Library Creator. Fill in the required fields, add the thumbnails…
Add the presets you saved/exported in Halion Sonic. If the presets used any samples they will appear at the bottom in Unassigned samples tab. Select them all and drag them onto the vstsound container. Build the library.

There is a way to temporarily mount the vstsound so you can test it. But I prefer just double clicking the vstsound file to register it with Steinberg Library Manager. You can always rebuild the library if you need to.


Many thanks for the reply, I’ll give this all a try later.

^ it’s just steps like this which I find really bizarre, you’d think you could just do it all within H7 and not have to save out to VST3 presets, tick HS Layer options (whatever they are) etc.

Do you personally find the process complicated… Or is it just that i’m not familiar with it all? I saw a guide pre HALion 6, and you could right click at the top of the tree in HALion and save out as a vstsound file I think.

I don’t know why it isn’t that simple? They could be on a winner with HALion and user content because of the simplicity of sharing vstsound files once you have them - it’s so much easier than Kontakt, yet users just aren’t embracing it. I’d really like to help change that.


@misohoza already pointed out the general information in the HALion manual. Thanks a million.

There is also a deeper information source on the following website, including guidelines for HALion Sonic instrument development etc. I hope you find any info you need there.

There are also some older videos for HALion 6 online, but most of the content should apply to HALion 7 as well:

I suggest to subscribe to our youtube channel to be informed about new videos:

The links given above are also availabe in the new HALion 7 hub:

I can’t get any more specific at this moment, but I hope this sends you on the right way. :+1:

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Appreciate your response, and that video looks like a great introduction.

Just one thing, can we create vstsound containers that span across into Retrologue etc.? i.e. is it possible for a user to create something like Neon Drifts via the HALion tools?

It just seems such a massive part of the Steinberg eco system that very few people are getting involved with to me. And trying to work out why, what’s possible, and how hard it is.

HALion 7 can create VST Sound containers for HALion 7 and for HALion Sonic 7.

Container creation for our other instruments is not possible for the general public at the moment for technical reasons.
It is possible to become a HALion Partner and get access to our release channels, but this is bound to conditions. Among other obligations, you need to show that you are a professional sound designer, as this is a business partnership contract and we expect you to deliver professional content.

To get an overview about what is possible as a HALion partner check out the following site, it shows many of our partner products:


@Philippe_Bono Will the script documentation be updated too? Surely there are some new additions there. It looks like io and os lua libraries are there too. Some intresting new functions like getDesktop(), pressKey(), Widget…

Regarding the macro page controls there is a Drag Group element which is not mentioned in the manual.

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I think it’s OK once you try it and know your way around. It’s creating and designing the instrument itself that is most time consuming. The final export and building the library takes couple of minutes.

Why do you need HALion Sonic in the process? Don’t know. Maybe there are some technical reasons for this. But if you target HALion Sonic as the delivery platform it makes sense to check if it works correctly using HALion Sonic.

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@Philippe_Bono where can I find more information about becoming a Halion Partner and about those conditions you mentioned? I’m very interested.

There is no public sign up page or anything really. It is an organic and personal business, we are not apple app store or google playstore after all :wink:
Usually, someone creates an instrument or a soundpack and shows it to us. If it is any good, negotiations can begin.

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I see. Fair enough! :grin:
Is there a special email address where I could contact Steinberg for this type of inquiry ?

Sent you a PM.

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We just realized that the documentation updates where not yet set to public. Please refresh the developer help.
Here is a link for the drag group:

I think @Chris.StAubyn was looking for this as well, right?

Let us know if you guys miss anything else.

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Thank you very much @Philippe_Bono !

With you on that…

Looking forward to following this. And don’t hold back on the detail, I think a lot of folk will be interested. :+1:

Hoping we’ll see you stretch to building some home-grown controls/switches/sliders/lights/toggles etc, etc… for your UI/UX. Although perfectly fine, I understand we’re not limited to using those resource templates supplied by SB alone, seen in Andy Schrav’s tutorial. Though I’m sure I’ve no idea where I’d even start with that and then making them animate.!

Anyway, that’s me being selfish… it’s your project, can’t wait. Have fun.!


Could you give us an example how to use the Drag Group? I can drag it but cannot drop it anywhere. What is a drop target?

Steinberg needs to make the developer documentation available in an offline format, either via an HTML bundle or PDF renders.

I just asked chatGPT how to do it…

Do you know how to use Halion to make your own vstsound files?

Yes, I can provide you with a general overview of how to use Halion to create your own VST Sound files.

Halion is a software sampler and sound creation tool developed by Steinberg. VST Sound files are sample and preset libraries that can be used in Halion and other VST-compatible software. (Only Halion and Halion Sonic)

To create your own VST Sound files in Halion, follow these general steps:

  1. Create a new project in Halion and add the samples or sounds that you want to include in your VST Sound file. You can do this by dragging and dropping samples from your computer into Halion, or by using Halion’s sound creation tools to generate new sounds.

  2. Organize your samples and sounds into groups, which will be the basis for your VST Sound file’s structure. You can use Halion’s folder and program features to do this.

  3. Define the parameters and attributes of your sounds, such as key ranges, velocity layers, and effects. This will help ensure that your sounds can be used effectively in different contexts.

  4. Export your project as a VST Sound file. To do this, go to the “Export” menu in Halion and choose “Export as VST Sound”. You can then choose the location and name for your VST Sound file.

  5. Test your VST Sound file in Halion or other VST-compatible software to ensure that it is working properly. You may need to make adjustments to your samples or sounds, or to the parameters and attributes you defined, to achieve the desired results.

It’s worth noting that the specifics of using Halion to create VST Sound files may vary depending on the version of the software you are using and the nature of the sounds you are working with. However, these general steps should give you a sense of the overall process.

ofc, this is from H6. hehe

This might be useful to also help write some scripting… :slight_smile:

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Not too bad :joy:
Of course it never fails to contradict itself (Halion and other VST-compatible software. (Only Halion and Halion Sonic)), mix up important details (“vstsound” is not “vst”) and staying vague in general, but fun in any case. :man_facepalming:

If that’s the future people believe in, we are doomed.


Drop onto this:

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