Does the latest HALion Sonic 3 SE work with Sonic 7 key?

I’ve a need for a legacy free player in some hosts that do VST2, but cannot host VST3. Sadly I made a lot of stuff with H6 for my students to use in courses that require Finale, Sibelius (VST2 only hosts for Windows users), and Dorico (Only one that can run Sonic/HALion 7)…I had counted on a multi-platform ‘free player’ being available for all of those hosts.

In the past it was simple. I gave them a link to get Sonic 3 SE for free. They did the download and registration on their end straight from their own Steinberg account (make a new one if they don’t already have one). From there I could ship them VSTsound libraries they simply double clicked to install to get my supplemental libraries for whatever host and lesson at hand. The ‘supplementary’ libraries range in content…from extra sounds for music staves, but also things like audio voice overs or other ‘audio cues’ that get triggered in real time along with the score, or that play when the user ‘clicks’ special symbols on the score.

I’m wondering if my students still need the old eLicenser keys (see no way to get the old eLicenser keys anymore), or if the free Sonic 7 key also works for HALion Sonic SE 3.5.10.

Anyone know the best route (without needing to buy a bridge or something to run VST3) to get a free Sonic SE player going in a VST2 host for students who might not already have Sonic SE 3, nor any other Steinberg host(s) that come with it installed at all upon starting the course?

If I roll a new library using H7, or change an old one from H6…will it work in Sonic 3 SE (provided I avoid the new FM synth zones and other ‘pre H7 features’)?

Do I need to roll back to H6 in order to keep building content for VST2 hosts (assuming students can still get keys to a working free VST2 player)?

Should I just give up on HALion for these courses, and start making SFZ based supplements? I hate to do this because installing/removing VSTsound libraries for HALion is SO SIMPLE. SFZ will require pages of extra documentation, and is more prone to ‘user errors’ trying to get it installed and working. It also pretty much bites that the free SFZ players I know of are NOT multi timberal/channel (required to ‘channel bounce’ articulations and variations that aren’t supported by key-switches or something similar).

I do realize it’s possible to use virtual ports to a stand alone instance, but that leads to other problems…of which require significant changes to the course (instructions, learning modules, sequences, assessments, and more).

HALion Sonic SE 3 was a PERFECT fit for all 3 hosts (and the first class effect chains are helpful too)! Sonic 7 would be even better…but…no VST2?

Is there a solid free VST2>VST3 bridge out there? I’m puzzled that Sonic/HALion 7 doesn’t come with something seeing as so many Scoring hosts can’t do VST3 yet (if Sonic 7 does come with some kind of bridge, or a proper VST2 dll, I haven’t found it yet).

I ask here because I’m in a situation where I can’t really test it myself reliably without it taking hours (swapping to a clean drive…making sure nothing is logged into ‘my own steinberg account’ in the background, removing/swapping dongles and so forth). If anyone has ideas on how to support such courses without rewriting half of them, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Maybe I get lucky and the Sonic 7 key works with SE 3.5…while I might need to roll my own system back to H6 to produce new libraries, it would be workable until I can ‘rewrite’ all those courses.


Short answer, NO.

Your question is a question for Steinberg support. This is a user forum.

HALion Sonic SE 3.5 has Steinberg Licensing support. If it doesn’t work with a HALion Sonic 7 free licence, it may well work with a Dorico SE free licence.

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User question for other users.

If you are a mod get busy…90% of the questions here are answered in the manual or faq. Mine is not…at least not that I can find. I am interested in user experiences on the topic.

For what it’s worth…have met others through such posts in the past. Similar objectives…questions and ended up helping each other a good bit.

I haven’t tried it, but there is Kushview Element, which is now free and open source. That might be worth trying.

There is no VST 2 version of HALion (Sonic) 7, which is in line with Steinberg’s VST 2 discontinuation announcement in January 2022:

Moreover, within the next 24 months, Steinberg’s host applications and plug-ins across macOS and Windows will offer VST 3 compatibility only.

There is no Apple Silicon build of a Steinberg host application that supports VST 2. The next version of Cubase and Nuendo might support VST 2 on Windows and Intel Mac - but that will be it (as I can’t see any 2024 release having VST 2 support). Steinberg hosts and plug-ins will be VST 3 only moving forwards.

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Thanks David.

I’ll get a clean system going and see how an SE installation works out. My guess is that probably ships with Sonic 7 through SDA by now?

It’ll take some time to figure out how to correct the courses ‘properly’. Meanwhile I need a bandaid.

Perhaps students can install SE 3.5 ‘first’, and point those VST2 only hosts to the dll in ‘…\Common Files\Steinberg\Shared Components’ (or equivalent on Macs). Then install Dorico SE (I hadn’t thought of that yet…learning modules on Dorico are still ‘in the works’. Rosetta 2 will still be there for another year at least?

Thanks for the info on that bridge.

Off to order some fresh drives to test stuff starting with a ‘clean slate’.

You can always spin up a virtual machine for experimentation - I use (the free) VirtualBox on Windows. I have some spare retail Windows 10 licences, though you can always use an unactivated copy of Windows for experimentation.

I was thinking of Dorico SE as a Steinberg Licensing licence that might activate HALion Sonic SE 3 if a HALion Sonic 7 licence does not.

The Dorico SE section of SDA now offers HALion Sonic 7. However, you can still get the HALion Sonic SE 3 installer from the Steinberg website.

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Great idea…

True…I need to start working with Windows 11 soon anyway though. I prefer starting with a clean slate to taking the ‘online automatic upgrade’. Can never have enough extra drives on hand so it’s time to grab a few :slight_smile: