General Questions Halion Sonic 3,Halion 6,Kontakt Full Version

Ok ive been looking at Big Fish Audio Celtic Instruments which says it works with Halion 3 .
I have Cubase 11 Pro with Halion Sonic SE.
So i am wondering if i should upgrade to Halion Sonic 3,Halion 6 or go for full version of Kontakt.
Kontakt on the face of it looks as if it has got more options in terms of libraries and other companies creating products for it, i would be interested to hear your advice on this subject
Many thanks,Allyupo

That’s true, Kontakt has many more available libraries than any other platform.

I think that probably answers the question Raino, thanks again

Raino as a matter of interest which sampler do you use ?

Please note that the factory content included with Halion 6 and the full version of Halion Sonic 3 is almost completely different from what’s included with Cubase.

Most big name Kontakt libraries are compatible with the free Kontakt Player, and on top of that several companies have moved on to using proprietary “Player” plug-ins.

Almost all modern Halion libraries are compatible with the free Halion Sonic SE 3, including all instrument libraries sold by Steinberg.

Libraries that claim to be compatible with “Halion 3” are mostly very old, and can only be loaded by Halion 6.

I want to use Zero - G Celtic, which has stated that it only works on Kontakt Full Version.
If Steinberg have a similar Celtic Instrument Collection that was of the same quality as Zero - G,i would purchase that.
Does Steinberg have any real quality Highland Bagpipes and other Celtic Instruments ?

In fact I’m confused,
What I want is to play my midi controller keyboard and be able to play
and record authentic bagpipe sounds,flute sounds,etc.
So what I think i am looking for is Virtual Instruments
I am listening to some Big Fish audio and what I think they are selling is audio guitar licks as the name would suggest.
I think Zero G Celtic is also just recorded audio licks which is not what I am after,
So does Steinberg have Celtic Virtual Instruments

Currently not.

Many of these older sample libraries have playable “multisamples” (which is what you’re looking for) as well as pre-recorded riffs and phrases performed by professional musicians. These pre-recorded performances help make up for the fact that the multisamples from that time wont always sound realistic. Both libraries you’ve mentioned in this topic seem to come with multisampled instruments.

Modern Halion and Kontakt libraries use scripting to allow for much more realistic playable instruments. They also allow you to easily switch between instrument articulations by simply pressing a key on your MIDI controller, instead of forcing you to load multiple articulations to separate channels. I would recommend checking if there’s any newer options available for the instruments you need.

East West have this:

And they run in their own software.

Funnily enough I watched Guy Michelmore on youtube (Cubase user) try it out on his channel not long back, here if interested - along with Celtic Era 2 (Again, has it’s own plugin):

Now, this may work for you if it’s for a certain project, as East West do a subscription plan that you can dip in and out of. Depends what else takes your fancy really.

I use the full versions of both Halion & Kontakt plus some East-West Play libraries.

The number of sample libraries out there is HUGE. Which in general is great, but can also make it difficult to sort out what you want to use from all the available choices. One useful resource is at KVR Audio. They maintain a database of plugins that you can search and filter the results based on a bunch of criteria. Considering that Cubase 12 drops support for VST2, you’d probably only want to look at VST3 for future compatibility (even though Cubase 11 will work with VST2).


I was poking around the KVR site and noticed something relevant to this conversation.

Ok so i understand what your saying about multi samples,i presume thats whats happening when i load a program sound into Halion Sonic SE,it plays perfectly across the piano keyboard, thats what im after with musical instruments.
Im confused about the process and i suppose the end result of the sampler editor.
Say i load a few bars audio file of a guitar loop into the sampler editor,i find a part of the riff that i like and i would like to be able to slice just that part,save it and then be able to play it back like a multisample.
I know that its a case of create slices and cubase creates the part according to transient or whatever value i select, am i supposed to export the slice as a audio mixdown from the sampler window or the other windows that creates slices ,sorry dont know its name.
Then when i load the sampled sound back into sampler editor and play the midi keyboard,the original key sounds fine,the other keys not so good.
Another thing i find difficult to get my head around,is when i slice audio and drag it to midi,it just doesnt make much much musical sense,it just doesnt look the same as when you record notes into the key editor from midi or Virtual Instrument.
Thank you for your information,much appreciated

Raino,youve come up with a couple of very helpful tips
VST 3 support in Cubase 12 - and the numbers difference between halion and kontakt is very self explanatory,
Thanks for that

Interesting video,i liked his tuning up tip,for me the Celtic Era 2 is the better of the 2 plugins,But there is another Bagpipe Plugin in the equation called Universal Piper,which is very good and isnt too expensive,im also looking at instruments like bodhran beats and snare drum 2/4 and 6/8 jigs ,i have had a listen to Celtic Era 2 before,im going to have another listen to their Celtic Drums, but i dont think their is a trial version the interface for drums is going to be very different to bagpipes unless im over thinking this,im very good at that lol, thanks again for the video and info

Its OK Romantique,you have taught me this answer before,very much appreciated

There are also 3 different bagpipes included in the Kontakt Factory Library. I know nothing about their quality.


I certainly didn’t know that,I’ll see if I can have a listen,thanks

From 6:15 if you’ve not found anything (Yes, I was curious too lol)

Ok good news for Steinberg,the Kontakt Highland pipes are the worst
So overall for all Celtic Instruments its Best Service Celtic Era 2, for Bagpipes that can really be tweaked I would say Universal Piper £70,
Studio Piper is also around £70,so you could purchase both these plugins and create a unique sound. for creating a pipe band,
Simple tip for using multiple bagpipe tracks,don’t start the tracks at the same time,nudge one of the tracks forward by milliseconds,same as you would do with vocals,you can also detune bagpipes using these plugins.
Universal Piper has free trial download.
So in all honesty Celtic Instruments is a decent size market that Steinberg is missing out on.
I could go into the musical style of playing in Celtic Era 2,their weren’t exactly a lot of Irish and Scottish musicians involved in the recordings lol,
The snare and drum rolls are a bit robotic,but hey it’s the front runner Come on Steinberg get with the program.