Halion SE3 to Halion 7 question

Hello… I just purchased the Halion 7 and now upon my opening up Cubase 12 my Sonic SE 3 seems to be missing. How did it just disappear? Is Sonic SE3 included somewhere inside Halion 7 now and I just am not seeing it? Is the Sonic SE 3 library inside Sonic 7? I ask because I am following a Cubase Course from “Born to Produce” and I cannot locate the Bright Acoustic Piano preset of Sonic SE 3 inside of the Halion 7. Was Sonic SE 3 somehow uninstalled when I upgraded to Halion 7?

***Scratch that… I just found the Acoustic Piano inside of Halion 7. My Sonic SE 3 is still on my Mac as a stand-alone instrument but the main VST plug-in is not loading into the Cubase… just the Halion 7 loads.


Sonic 7 replaces HSSE. Projects that once used HSSE should automatically open Sonic 7 now. I think Sonic 7 retains the old plugin ID that HSSE once used…hence most hosts think it’s the same thing.

HSSE does not get removed by the Sonic or HALion 7 installer. For the newer Steinberg hosts this shouldn’t be a problem as they know how to handle the situation if HSSE and Sonic/HALion 7 are both installed and have plugins in the usual paths.

It can cause issues in some non Steinberg hosts if they scan and see BOTH HSSE 3 and Sonic 7 installed.

If you run various hosts on your system, it might be a good idea to either uninstall HSSE, or ‘move’ the plugin portion of the app to a location out of the way just in case you ever wish to restore it. I.E. You could go back to HSSE pretty easily by simply ‘moving’ the newer Sonic 7 VST3 plugins elsewhere, and putting the old HSSE 3 one back.

Example: On my windows system I went to:
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files
I made a new folder called VST3.disabled

Next I went to:
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Steinberg
I right clicked and ‘cut’ the HALion Sonic 3 SE folder.
Navigated to my new VST3.disabled folder.
Right clicked and chose ‘paste’.

So now HSSE has been ‘moved’ to a directory that hosts aren’t going to be scanning in search of possible VST3 plugins. Note, the stand alone version of HSSE doesn’t work anymore at this point either unless you move the Halion Sonic SE.vst file back to:
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Steinberg

For VST2 plugins…since I have a lot of projects for VST2 only hosts like Finale and Sibelius that used HSSE…I simply left the VST2 plugin dlls for HSSE in place, but if you like it could be moved somewhere out of the way as well. Sonic/HALion 7 doesn’t come in a VST2 variant at all.

So now, any of my VST3 hosts happily use Sonic 7. Even if it’s an older project that I made with HSSE…Sonic 7 loads up in its place and simply works.

My VST2 only hosts such as Finale and Sibelius can still use HSSE provided I have the right Licenses and keys in place on the system (HSSE 3.5.10 can run from qualifying Steinberg Activation keys (Cubase 12/Nuendo 12/Dorico 4/Full version of Sonic/HALion 7, and ‘maybe’ also with a free key for Sonic 7), or older eLisencer keys from stuff like Cubendo 11, Dorico 3.5, Sonic 3, HALion 6, the old free HSSE keys they used to give away, etc).

If I want Sonic/HALion 7 for those VST2 only hosts, I’ll have to use a VST2>VST3 bridge of some sort (In my case Bidule).

If you’re on a Mac with Apple Silicon and you want things to be ‘all native’ (No Rosetta 2 required), it might be better to ‘uninstall’ HSSE all together, but even so, you might elect to just ‘move things’ so hosts don’t scan and find it. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that anything VST2 from Steinberg isn’t likely to support Apple silicon natively. So on a Mac…shoot for VST3 or AU where at all possible. Reserve falling back to the VST2 version of HSSE for ‘moments of desperation’ (and chances are you’ll need Rosetta in play at that).


Open Steinberg Download Manager and download HALion Sonic 7. Your HALion 7 includes license to Sonic. You have probably already downloaded the SE content when you installed HALion 7.

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Thanks for your info! I am on Mac running Monterey. I think I was just a bit thrown off when I saw the HSSE 3 missing from my plugins in Cubase. I think I assumed that both HSSE 3 and Hal 7 would be there. I think it would be cool if the HSSE 3 could be included in HAL 7 as its own instrument selection, just as how say, Skylab is for example. In any case, I did locate the preset I was looking for that I needed for my course tutorial, so I do see that the HSSE 3 presets are there in HAL 7… it just takes a bit of searching to find them. Thanks again.