A answer from the developer of Synfire :
Steinberg seemingly doesn’t follow its own VST3 standard with this instrument. The number of audio buses and channels is not reported correctly. HALion reports stereo input and stereo output, but uses all 70 audio channels nevertheless. This crashes the Engine because it doesn’t know about those extra channels.
You may want to raise a bug report. Juce is a very popular and widely used audio framework. Steinberg will know it and want to support it.
So how to get Halion 7 fixed for Synfire Pro ?
Seems like you’re on Windows? If not, and you’re on Mac, try the AU plugin instead.
You might try running it through a bridge.
A few options existing…
Free Options (That I know of)
Commercial Options (That I know of)
I’ve never tried the Synfire Pro host your post is about specifically, but I have enjoyed the benefits of using vst3shell and bidule for better VST3 compatibility in various hosts. In fact, I use them with hosts that don’t support native hosting of VST3 plugins at all to get HALion and Grove Agent going (Band in a Box/Real Band/Real Tracks, Sibelius, and Finale).
vst3shell is hosted as VST2, and provides a bridge for sub-hosting VST3 plugins. It seems pretty solid with HALion/Sonic and Groove Agent to me so far, though I notice it only supplies one (where it should be 4) MIDI input ports for full HALion 7 (the rest seems to work fine though).
bidule can run as either vst2, or vst3, and can then host a variety of plugin types from there, including CLAP I think. Bidule can be tweaked a bit in the system registry to establish some base defaults for specific hosts that aren’t quite getting set up as desired/expected through host and plugin initialization protocols. I.E. I can force it to have Dorico always begin bidule instances with a 4 channel input, 32 channel output configuration by default as far as the host knows, and then divert things where I want in bidule and the sub-hosted plugins from there.
I’ve also tried Kushview briefly, and it seems to work as both VST2 or VST3, but I can’t figure out for the life of me how to get it to simply pass program changes to hosted plugins instead of changing Kushview presets. If you don’t need to change patches in HALion using MIDI Program Change, it should be pretty solid. There may well be a way to have it pass PC events direct to plugins instead of managing Kushview’s own patchbay, I simply have not figured it out yet if it can!
Patchwork is one I have yet to try. I don’t know a thing about it.
Thanks for the shell options, I am using Windows.
Normally I want to use Halion 7 in a mididrone from Synfire installed in Cubase.
As an aside, Halion 6 does work as a midi drone, because the developer of Synfire had made it fit, but with Halion 7 it doesn’t make sense so to speak.
Means a drone installation + Vst3 shell + Halion 7 for an instrument in Cubase .
I understand. Perhaps it’s a workable patch until the Synfire people get it sorted.
I’ve noticed that it seems to take a few tries before developers grasp VST3 and get it working properly. Why I don’t know. Instructions in the dev kit? Issues with language translation and interpretation? No idea…but the struggle is real.
I know I’ve personally reported a number of issues to the bidule team as Plogue has been developing VST3 support for bidule over the years. Cubase and HALion have presented challenges indeed, as Steinberg stuff tends to expose ‘cutting edge’ VST features and abilities that other plugins and hosts aren’t trying to use ‘yet’ (and might not be well documented/explained at all in the dev kits). Plogue has been diligently fixing things one issue at a time as we users bring them up. It hasn’t been ‘easy’ for them. Probably through a combination of experience and really good debugging tools, plus direct contact with someone at Steinberg, they seem to get reported issues sorted pretty swiftly. I wouldn’t be surprised if Steinberg hasn’t learned a thing or two from such developers and implemented some changes to their dev kits and documentation for them (in many languages) along the way as well.
I’ve also witnessed issues for the VST3 plugins in stuff like East West Play and Opus that have taken time to get sorted. Even Steinberg’s own Dorico team have expressed moments of being stumped or confused by various aspects of VST3 (and rolling out quick fixes along the way).
If the Synfire Pro people communicate with Steinberg I’m confident that in time they will get it sorted. It’s not impossible, it just takes time and patience, and those Synfire developers aren’t alone in the frustration…