Halion Sonic 6 is missing after installing 4Knob Piano

I own a license for Halion 6 which came with the full version of Halion Sonic. I use Halion Sonic all over the place. I just installed 4Knob piano which appears to have uninstalled Halion Sonic from my system. Only Halion Sonic SE appears to be available in the Steinberg Download Assistant. When I open up a project that has used Halion Sonic, it is not found and the tracks are left disconnected. I’m not sure how to get this back, and I’m hoping to not have to remap all my projects to use SE. Anyone have an idea?


HALion 6 license doesn’t come with HALion Sonic. HALion Sonic is a smaller edition of HALion.

HALion Sonic SE, which is part of the Cubase 12 license is in HALion Sonic SE 7 version. But you might have a license for the older HALion Sonic (probably HALion Sonic 3) version. Please, double-check, what licenses exactly you own.

Afaik, just install Halion sonic 3 latest version again. make sure you don’t install halion7. The se7 is ok


Are you on Mac (M1/M2?) our Windows?

I’m on Windows. I found this in the FAQ:

Is HALion Sonic 3 included in HALion 6?
Yes, the plug-in and the library are completely included in HALion 6 and covered by the HALion 6 license.

I do not see a license for Halion Sonic in the e-license manager, just Halion 6. Since purchasing Halion 6 back in 2019, I’ve used Halion Sonic probably 9/10 times in projects (I didn’t have SE installed), and if I have indeed lost access to HS3, this likely affects hundreds of my projects.

I found the HS3 download outside of the Download Assistant, but when I go to install it, it says it’s already installed. It is missing however, from the VST Plug-In manager in Cubase 12.


HALion Sonic 3 is lower edition of HALion 6. So if you own HALion 6 licence, you can start HALion Sonic 3 with the licence.

Isn’t there an option to reinstall it then?

Sonic 7 replaces Sonic 3, and Sonic 3 SE. It has the same plugin id, so it should simply work in projects old and new.

Installing HALion 7 or Sonic 7 does replace Sonic 3, but it does NOT automatically ‘remove’ Sonic 3 SE (HSSE); however, some users manually uninstall HSSE due to various conflicts under older, or non-Steinberg hosts.

The VST2 version of HSSE 3 typically stays in place, and still works in all hosts that can use VST2. In fact, for Windows users running a VST2 only host (I.E. Sibelius or Finale), HSSE is the ‘only way’ to keep using Halion sounds without some kind of 3rd party bridge. So, I’m still using HSSE 3.5.10 in VST2 form a good bit with a few hosts.

The VST3 versions get installed in the VST3 directory:
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Steinberg”

The VST2 version of HSSE 3 (HALion 7 and Sonic 7 do not exist in a VST2 variant), a user can install anywhere they like. By default it usually goes in one of the following places:
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%/Program Files/VSTPlugins”
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%/Program Files/Steinberg/VSTPlugins”

Over the years, through gradual ‘coaxing’ on my part, my VST2 plugins have ended up going into:
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%/Program Files/Common Files/VST2”

With VST2 plugins, most hosts (including Steinberg hosts) have an option to list any directories to ‘scan’ for VST2 plugins.

So, make sure the path where you have HSSE VST2 installed is listed or Cubase will not find it.

Some hosts ‘crash’ if HSSE is still in the VST3 directory…so many users simply ‘move’ the HSSE3 VST3 “HALion Sonic SE” plugin folder to a directory ‘out of the way’ unless they ‘need’ it again.

I.E. Some hosts might ‘crash’ when doing a plugin scan when coming across two VST3 plugins with the ‘same id’. Some might simply ‘blacklist’ one, the other, or ‘both’. In theory, hosts should be ‘ignoring’ the older plugin, and using the newer one when IDs match, but some hosts don’t get that part of the VST3 protocol right.

Personally, I’ve just moved:
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Steinberg\HALion Sonic SE”
“%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3.disabled\Steinberg\HALion Sonic SE”

If I really ‘need’ a VST3 version of HSSE, or wish to run the stand alone version, I’ll ‘move it back’ and then move the Sonic 7 folder ‘out of the way’.

If for some you need installers for HSSE 3 you can find the last version (3.5.10) here (scroll down and there is a link to get HSSE by itself):
Dorico 4 Updates and Downloads | Steinberg

HSSE 3.5.10 does support libraries that use the newer Steinberg Activation Center/Licensing system. I believe it will ‘also’ support libraries registered via the older eLicenser system (dongle, or soft eLicenses).

Personally…I keep a copy of HSSE 3 around just in case. I use it often in VST2 only hosts. I’ve ‘moved’ the HSSE vst3 plugin to directory outside the scan path so hosts never know it’s on my system. If I really ‘need’ the VST3 version of HSSE 3, I’ll ‘move’ it back to the proper vst3 directory, and ‘move’ Sonic 7 elsewhere and out of the way until I’m done.

It’s rare you’d need this…but…If you truly need to ‘roll back’ to H6 or ‘full’ Sonic6…you’ll need to ‘uninstall’ all the version 7 stuff, and ‘reinstall’ H6/Sonic 3. You will need your dongle or soft-eLicenser keys in place, as H6 doesn’t support the newer Steinberg Licensing system.

Again, in most cases, Sonic 7 takes over where with Sonic 6, or HSSE 3 left off. It just ‘works’. Be sure you have eLicenser installed and up to date. Be sure your dongle is plugged in, or the needed keys are properly listed in the soft eLicencer of the system.

I sincerely appreciate the responses here. Thank you.

To answer Martin’s question, no the Windows HS3 installer does not have a reinstall option, so I guess I’d have to manually remove the VST to reinstall.

Unsatisfying answer here as I’m not sure what I bumped, but Halion Sonic again appeared in the plugins list (and yes, I had previously scanned the plugins folders multiple times Cubase wasn’t showing it, even though it was in %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\Steinberg). The new Halion Sonic plugin link in Cubase opens Halion Sonic The first project I opened hung indefinitely, but after a hard reboot, my existing projects that used Halion Sonic appear to remap to the new version without intervention.

So fingers-crossed, I think this is resolved for me. Brian, Martin and Vinark – thank you again for the help.

Good luck. It usually settles in after a few reboots, and simply giving the Steinberg ‘MediaBay’ server time to check and update the database. Launch the stand alone version, and just let it sit there for a while (to scan and rebuild the mediabay db).

For most people, it’d be pretty rare to ever need to ‘roll back’ to HALion 6 or Sonic 3, and then it’d be to fix ‘quirks’ in rolling content libraries so they’ll work with ‘older versions’ of HALion.

For everyone else…Sonic 7 should be fine 99.9% of the time, no matter how old your projects and sounds are. The gotchas tend to be, making sure eLicencer is installed and up to date. Making sure Activation Center is installed and up to date. And finally, being sure the libraries are ‘registered/activated’ properly.

In some cases, really ‘old’ libraries ‘might’ exist that still don’t support the new Licensing system. Maybe there is some odd reason they won’t work in Sonic 7, or HALion 7 (I personally don’t know of any, but it’s ‘possible’).

In those cases…I’d personally launch the VST2 version of HSSE3 (can put in a layer of future proofing via hosting in an instance of something like Kushview Element or bidule) and be done with it.

Correct. Because Sonic 7 is installed. It replaces Sonic 3.

Aside from using HSSE 3 as described earlier in the thread…

If you ever want to go back to the HALion 6 and Sonic 3 generation, you’d need to uninstall EVERYTHING HALion (maybe the libraries too…because of Steinberg eLicenser vs Steinberg Activation), and then install HALion 6 and/or Sonic 3 from scratch.

HALion has been this way as far back as I can remember. Each new version is intended to be ‘fully backwards compatible’ with older projects and sounds. So, even a project you’ve made way back from HALion 3 days, should still be working in HALion 7 (provided the HALion sounds/libraries are also on the system). Going ‘forward’ with HALion has always been a breeze. Rolling back has always required removing most, if not all traces of ‘newer versions’.

In a nut shell. Stick with Sonic/HALion 7 and newer and you should be fine. Do NOT ‘roll back’ unless you have a very specific reason, and you know exactly what that reason is.

Example reason to roll back? I sometimes need to build sounds that will work in older versions of HALion…so I keep a small virtual windows partition around with HALion 6 installed and ready to go just for this purpose. As soon as I build it with H6 and test it there, I promptly export the library and test it again with the latest versions of HALion/Sonic.