Halion Sonic 3 vs Halion Sonic 2

From what I can see, the major differences are the following instruments:

-Hot Brass
-Studio Strings

  • Skylab

This generally seems like a fairly good suite of updates based on what I’ve heard thus far with the exception of Hot Brass but I’m curious whether or not there are any changes or upgrades to the older modules. Of particular interest is their EP section as that is something I was hoping would get an upgrade. I’ll probably upgrade anyways but I would still like to know if there are any plans for future updates as it doesn’t seem like HS2 or H5 were given much in the way of significant updates.

So are there patch updates? Does, say, Auron have additional functionality or patches in 3?

Of particular interest given the Steinberg/Yamaha dynamic would be a “Motif Select” bank of instruments and effects. A handful of guitar patches, a couple of ep’s, a few efx modules such as the gorgeous wah-wah sound that Yamaha does better than anyone and I’m betting a premium price could be had for an expansion or two of, say, 64 patches apiece? Naturally I’m spitballing and a Motif expansion is unlikely, but it just seems that expansion itself is such a natural and obvious direction that hasn’t really been utilized to this point and I’d like to see that change during this cycle.

Am I alone in believing Halion and Halion /Sonic have been underutilized as platforms?

If you look for a decent ep, have you tried Neo Soul Keys already? Comes as library of HALion/HS, as separate plugin and as standalone (outside DAW).

I personally don’t like Neo Soul Keys at all. The whole sound has a ‘general midi’ , low end Casio sound and feel to me. I’ll most likely wind up with Lounge Lizard if HS3 doesn’t have a beefed up EP section.
The upgrade is cheap enough that I’ll probably do it at some point. I’m surprised there’s no response at all to the question of whether or not they just added new modules or if they added new sounds to the old ones as well. My guess is the answer is definitely “no” in that case.
I’d also like to know whether or not there are any plans to support Halion/HS as a platform with expansion packs going forward. That just seems like a practical no-brainer to me, but that’s me.

You can’t be serious. GM low end Casio sound…Have you played it or do you judge by the audio and video demos?

We have only added the new instrument libraries. There are now additional beside that.

Yes, there are plans.

Neo Soul Keys are simply the most useful HALion library for me and it is also probably the best library Steinberg created so far!

The “Casio low end” statement was indeed ridiculous…


Oh, we’re going to turn it into one of those posts where we attack each other’s personal opinions on something that’s entirely subjective. But since you guys want to turn this into that, so be it.

Matthias in particular sounds particularly defensive about it. Yes, I’m serious. It doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest and I’ve listened to more than enough demoes to form that opinion.

You do realize that that is the purpose of a demo, right?

Why would I pay $79 on non-returnable software to play it myself on the off chance that it sounds better than the available demos? No thanks. Tell you what, you shoot me $79 to my paypal and I’ll give it a go, but I’m not spending my money in hopes that I’ll magically be able to change the sound (not playing) I hear in the demo.

You guys pulled that nonsense with the hot brass library too. It was panned from the start based on the demos and we were asked not to judge based on the demos provided, but that’s not how this works. It’s not a critique of the players either, it’s a critique of the actual sounds themselves, and they’re not very good. The whole point of a demo is to sell people on the product. If I judged the demo positively and actually bought the product you wouldn’t be bothered that I formed an opinion on the demo, would you?

Funny how that works, Matthias.

Do you think every product you create is so amazing that everyone will absolutely love it?
I hate to break it to you but Neo Soul Keys isn’t exactly the market leader in EP VST’s.
Here’s another newsflash: absolutely every product in existence has detractors.

Do you think you guys created the only product in existence that everyone absolutely loves?

Truth is was I being polite in my opinion of NSK and yes… low end Casio is just about the nicest description I could muster without lying. Truth is it sounds awful.

Frankly what I heard in those demos don’t stack up well at all to several ep libraries on the market that I have actually played.

It’s not as good as anything already in HS2
It’s not as good as the Scarbee eps in Komplete.
It’s certainly not as good as Lounge Lizard 4.
It’s certainly not as good as the ep’s in my old MOXF.

And it’s light years behind anything in the Korg Kronos I recently had to sell, which is the only reason I’m back on the market for an EP library and yes, compared to the EP models in the Kronos Neo Soul Keys sounds like the GM set on an entry level Casio. The rest are inferior to the Kronos ep’s but nowhere near as bad as NSK.

The bottom line is I don’t care for it and you’re not spending your money on my setup and when it’s my money being spent my opinion of what I do and don’t like isthe only one that matters.

It’s totally ok with me if you guys think it’s super duper awesome because I’m not paying for it. If you like it by all means, enjoy!

I suppose it’s more fun to turn bug out, clutch pearls and turn this discussion into something contentious because we don’t agree.

Hi there,

Apologies if you feel offended by my reaction. I was just quite surprised by your feedback. Our version of NSK is in the market for 4 years and I have never read such a devastating feedback. Please, don’t get me wrong. I totally respect your opinion and one reason why I am active in our forum is that I want to communicate with the users to collect your feedback and listen to your concerns and ideas. So, all positive.

I wanted to suggest the trial version, as demo’s (Youtube? Live?) are nothing compared to the real deal… but… well… nevermind…

(goes back to making a real living)

I’m confused.

They aren’t playing the real thing in the demos?

So what I’m hearing in these demos isn’t “the real thing”?

Question: If the demo is terrible and there are a handful of other products on the market that I personally like better than the terrible demos of NSK… why on earth would I want to bother with so much as a trial of something that, to me, sounds awful when there are products I like much, much more on the market?

What about that makes sense?

If I were to get my hands on the finest violin on the planet, worth millions…it’d sound like garbage with me playing it.

Sound libraries can be similar, so if there are free demo periods available, it doesn’t hurt to give them a try. When it comes to synth sounds, it’s about what YOU do with them.

you dont have to buy it to demo it yourself !
use the trial version (30 days) and decide if its fits your needs or not

Yes, I’m aware of how all of this work. I’ve been at this for quite some time.

First, I’m not talking about the playing. I’m talking about the actual sound. The tone. The color. These things are readily evident in the demos. I don’t judge a demo by the player, I judge the demo by the quality of the sounds being played.

As I said… there are products on the market that I actually like and I don’t really need to bother trying a product that sounds like one of the absolute worst I’ve ever heard on the market. If you like it, by all means, enjoy. I don’t care for it and have zero interest in it. There’s no need for me to try NSK first hand just to satisfy your need for me to use the product you like. And while it doesn’t “hurt” to try out a free demo- an odd thing to say, as though I somehow think it does- it also doesn’t “hurt” to simply accept that there are other products on the market and everyone isn’t going to love or use all the products you like.

I don’t understand the need you guys have to keep trying to talk me into a product I have no interest in, particularly in the light of the fact that I’ve already said that there are other products on the market that I prefer. I know what my preferences are. You don’t. And before you guys spit something about how you’re only trying to help, just know that a good recommendation is always welcome by most people but a complete refusal to accept that someone is not interested is just plain pushy.

Thanks again for the recommendation of a product I’m sure you genuinely love but I am not interested and I’ve got my go-to plugins for EP’s. I’ll stick with those and really have no problem “missing out” on Neo Soul Keys so please stop trying to overcome my objections.

u state that u have to pay just to try it. we just let you know you dont have to buy it just to check it…
and no you don’t have to buy or try, people suggested you an alternative they use,and you tell them it’s a crap !
i don’t think NSK is the best out there, but it has some different flavour and suites better to some genres than others.
hopefully other 3 party companies also begin to develop sound libraries for H6/HS3,it’s always good to have new approaches than only steinberg in library creation (Although NSK is kind of 3rd party)

I am not trying to talk you into anything, and it’s not ‘pushy’ to answer a specific question. I don’t use the library in question as I don’t really need it.

I simply answered a direct question about ‘why try’ software and library demos. When it comes to synths, there are typically thousands of presets included, and they can be tweaked endlessly, both at low levels and in real time with simple CC calls. Unless the samples/oscillators, wave-tables/etc. themselves are fundamentally flawed…there might be some stuff in there that other libraries don’t have…namely Halion engine integration.

If you don’t want to try it, that’s your choice. If you ask a question, people will answer it from their own ‘perspective’ to explain what we get out of the test driving process.

As for being ‘pushy’, you’re the one who started piling on insults and opinions when someone simply tossed up the existence of a library they like, then you admit that you’ve not personally browsed presets, played, or experimented with working into a mix. Demo tracks (which get further processing and mixing by someone else), in ‘our opinion’ can be misleading. It’s tough to get an ‘out of the box’ perception of the sounds based on someone else’s ‘demo tracks’ where they’ve interpreted the music, and further processed and mixed the tracks.

Demos these days are often horrible, because there’s been a trend to pile on the processing in search of that so called ‘phat/loud sound’.

That’s all anyone is saying. It’s up to you to try it or not.

Opinions on Rhodes are so subjective.

I am not too high on the effects that they use on the presets, so I roll my own. Usually using my own plugins and not the internal FX (the reverb isn’t bad though) . You also have a lot of control over the physics of the instrument, which you just can’t get from a demo. I really like NSK, but I know that Scarbee and Lounge L get good marks. I doubt you’d be going wrong with those 2 choices.

I would throw in that the guy that promotes NSK (now mostly promoting for UVI) is quite an established and talented gospel keyboard player. If you can get your hands on his demos, they were of the better ones that I’d heard.

edit: and cmon - you know ‘Casio keyboard’ is meant to be an insult not only to the developers but also many of us as users.