HALion 7 - VST host?

I’ve been using HALion 7, Retrologue and Padshop in my DAW. (Ardour). I don’t know why I didn’t ask this earlier but I don’t see a way to load either Retrologue or Padshop into HALion itself. Is HALion capable of hosting any level of VSTs? (2 or 3?)

Looking at the online manuals I don’t find it, but both ChatGPT and Google’s Bard said it can be loaded in the Program Tree. If that’s true I haven’t figured out how it do it.

Seems very natural to me that a multi-instrument HALion 7 setup would be a great place to be able to load VST instruments, most especially those from Steinberg.

Thanks in advance,

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Hi Mark.

Halion is not a vst host so there is no way to load Retrologue or Padshop or any vst plugin for that matter.

It would be great if it could load at least the presets from those two instruments but I am almost certain it’s not possible either.

misohoza - thanks for the response. It’s consistent with what I was coming to think.

I appreciate your time.


I guess it must be true then! :wink:

This highlights perfectly the danger of these automated responders; no actual intelligence there, yet they misinform intelligent people.


Steinberg will know the direction :wink:

Looks like the language models created nice 7 finger hands in their reply… as usual :wink:
But also, as is often the case, there is a kernel of truth. Retrologue uses a similar engine as the HALion subtractive zone. Padshop uses a mixture of the Granular Zone and the Spectral Zone.
The advantage of the standalone plugins is the fact that their GUIs are tailored for the workflows best matching those synthesis methods. So is the effect selection and signal routing. Some effects where custom developed for the standalone instruments and only much later included in HALion (ie. Padshop: reverb, time stretch algorithm etc, Retrologue 2: resonator).
So, no VST hosting, but similar capabilities in the HALion 7 zones thanks to the multitude of engines available.


So very true. I did attempt to research the question before posting here. Both of them gave me very reasonable looking links into Steinberg documentation, but all the links were dead. (404 - no such page)

Thanks for the technical overview and reasoning. Makes total sense.

I imagine also that it would not reflect well on Steinberg if people attempted to load some off-brand VST and it didn’t work. You’d be overloaded with folks asking questions about every free VST in the world that didn’t work which would likely be insane. There’s more than enough capability in HALion to keep me busy for years but I was curious so thanks very much for the answer.


To be honest, as the inventor of VST we have to hear that all the time :joy:
Jokes aside, beeing a VST host is not what HALion is aiming for. Unfortunately someone, some day, ages ago (I suppose dinosaurs still roamed the world) decided that it is a good idea to call our content files “VSTSound”.
VST Sound IS HALion content to be played in HALion Sonic and HALion or other Steinberg products.
VST PlugIns are program extensions like HALion is to Ardour or any other DAW/VST Host.
This might add to the confusion, so appologies for that. But I hope I was able to clear this up a little.

H7 is not a DAW :face_with_diagonal_mouth: