Halion Sonic 3 Missing Instruments & Presets

Well I have read all the other posts I could find on this and I am still utterly confused.

Installed Halion 3 for use as a VST plugin in a non-Steinberg sequencer. Updates installed. All licensed and recognised and works as a VST plugin should. And the stand-alone version works too. However…

Instruments such as Skylab, Hot Brass and the like are visible within Halion but with no available presets and obviously they don’t load. In Library Manager these show up in the ‘Managed’ list.

Some instruments such as World Percussion don’t appear in Halion at all. In Library Manager these show as ‘Installed’.

In Library Manager I can see the file pathways and have tried moving locations but to no effect. In my appdata folder the two groups appear in different VST folders, one in the Content VST folder, the other in the Halion VST folder.

Even more confusingly the additional VST content appears under C: program data Steinberg etc.

I thought I knew what I was doing when it comes to daws and software but I have now had three goes at this and it has me beat.

I guess I am asking if anyone knows an appropriate file location for the presets and for the sounds themselves so that they become visible to Halion.

In another thread someone suggested that Halion 3 does not install all bits of older versions, e.g. Sonic 2 content. I suspect this may be true. As I don’t have Sonic 2 I don’t currently have a way of overcoming this.

Aaaaagh :question: :question: :question: :question: :question:

Some things that might help.

Some confusion comes into play on installation locations based on how a user ticks a box upon running the installer. When this is NOT ticked, things tend to go into the AppData directory of the administrative account installing things.

I forget the exact name of the tick box…
“Install for all users on this system” or something like that.

In a nutshell, if you want content to be available to all system users, it should be in the “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\ProgramData\Steinberg\Content\VST Sound” directory.

In some cases you might find ‘shortcuts’ in your User AppData folder pointing to the above location, or vice verse.

Personally, to clean it all up, I ended up moving all of the actual vstsound archives from the various user AppData locations to the ProgramData location, and optionally deleting any of the shortcuts in “%AppData%\Steinberg\Content\VST Sound”. In short, you want to make sure the actual vstsound files are in ProgramData, otherwise permissions problems can arise if you try to use things from different user accounts.

Another thing I’ve found that seems like it might cause issues if you happen to use Cubase. Be careful not to keep backups or unzipped installers containing vstsound archives of HALion content packs in a directory that gets scanned on a regular basis via your Cubase “Mediabay”. It seems like I once had some problems when identical content got scanned twice (once by HALion itself, and again via the Cubase Mediabay). I had quite a few things in a directory on my desktop, and at the time Cubase was set so it would keep tabs on stuff kept on my desktop. Oops. When I moved all that stuff to some directory that I know the Cubase Media Bay ignores, all my problems went away. I’ve since gone through Mediabay in Cubase and asked it to ignore my Desktop and Download directories, as I like to keep things there that I’d rather Cubase not try to bag and tag as usable media.

Finally, double check that you don’t have some sort of filter set by accident in your Sonic Media Bay. Try forcing a Content rescan in Sonic.

Thanks for that. Well somehow or other, using a combination of try-outs you mentioned and other stuff, eventually something seemed to click and I can now see all instruments and their presets. The locations are indeed in program data on my c drive which is fine. I would have preferred to have stuff on one of my other data drives but I’m not messing with it now. It works! :smiley:

I hear you on moving the libraries around.

The good news on this front is Steinberg seems to be listening. They now provide an easier way to move content around to different drives for people who are not comfortable working with file system links/aliases/shortcuts.

The newest Steinberg Library Manager has nice utilities to ‘batch move’ content to any location you like. The only major ‘gatcha’ I ran into when exploring the latest version of this tool happens the first time I launch Cubase. It begins to ask for the location(s) of things that I moved. It’s a bit of a pain because it asks for the new location of each vstsound archive one by one. I ‘think’ the thing to do in this case is just hit ‘remove’ for each invalid link. It ‘seems’ to me like it only has to do with Mediabay stuff for Cubase (the ability to grab samples and such out of a vstsound container from ‘unlocked layers’ directly into Cubase tracks…or to drag and drop such things among different plugins in Cubase directly from the Cubase Mediabay). It doesn’t seem to break HALion in any way by simply ‘removing’ them upon starting Cubase the first time after moving a bunch of content. Cubase eventually rescans it all properly into Mediabay again automatically (depending upon what all you allow it to keep tabs on).