HALion sonic 7 vst3 undetectable by Ableton 11

I have installed the HALion Sonic 7 to try out the new Colors free vst. I work with Ableton 11 newest version which has full vst3 support. I use windows 11.
HALion Sonic SE vst3 works perfectly fine and is detecable.
HALion Sonic 7 vst3, however, is undetectable.

I have tried to reinstall and to reset the PC.
Also tried to copy the whole Halion sonic 7 folder to the vst path with all its contenets, still no use.
Nothing seems to solve this.

Any suggestions before just giving up on this vst?

The VST path is not used for VST3 plugins.

There is a system-wide install path for all DAW and related plugins.
Copying something inside the VST3 directory is not installing it. Let the installer do its job.
Can you start the standalone version of the software?

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Thanks for the replay!
I know copying isn’t an installation. Standalone works.
Ableton has a dedicated path for vst3 files as well, it is configurable and I use it for all of my other vst3 plugins without any problem.
I run the setup - then AFTER the setup is done, I drag a COPY of the .vst3 file created to the dedicated Ableton path. This works with any other plugin I have used until now (and with HALion sonic SE as well! So not only for non-Steinberg vsts).
Me copying the whole folder was just another try to tackle it, not something I do in general.

The installation does not allow to choose any other specific location of vsts folder - only for the standalone app.
Thus - when installation is done, I see the vst3 file created at the system-wide default path you are probably talking about (on windows - C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3/Steinberg/HALion Sonic.vst3).
The file itself is within: Contents → x86_64-win folder.
Either copying it or the whole folder to the Ableton VST3 path doesn’t solve it. That’s what I meant.

Hope this explains it better and that you or anyone else have an idea how else I might solve this.

Thanks again.

The Sonic 7 installer does NOT replace or move Sonic SE 3. For Cubase this isn’t a problem, but some other DAWs might have issues if the old VST Sonic 3 SE plugin is still in place.

Check your old VST2 and VST3 folder(s) that Ableton scans for plugins. If Sonic 3 SE is still there, ‘move’ it (Keep it somewhere safe in case you need it again) and restart Ableton.

Tried this now. Didn’t solve it :confused:
Maybe if I uninstall the SE?.. but not sure I want to try it and be left with both undetectable, I like the loFi piano lol xP
I will update here in case I find some solution. Maybe some other Ableton user will see this as well…
This is a new plugin so it might as well be some bug with Ableton compatibility that will be fixed…

Thanks for the suggestions anyhow.

Just move the old Sonic 3 SE plugins.

Having that AND Sonic/HALion 7 installed has caused some of my non Steinberg hosts fits.

I went to the VST3 folder and did a ‘cut’ and ‘paste’ of the old Sonic 3 SE vst wrapper and Help directory to some side directory that those hosts don’t scan. All is fine.

Go to “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3"\Steinberg”.
You’ll want to move the “HALion Sonic SE” directory that has inside: Halion Sonic SE.vst3, and Help".

Right click the “HALion Sonic SE” directory and choose ‘cut’.

Make a new folder like: “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\VST3.disabled\Steinberg”.

Go inside that, right click and chose ‘paste’ (or tap ctrl-v). Windows asks for permission to move the files.

Now the old Sonic 3 SE plugin has been moved to a directory that your hosts shouldn’t scan.

Now have Ableton rescan plugins (or restart it, however it’s done in Ableton).

If I ever need Sonic 3 SE back…I can ‘move’ the newer ones out of the VST3 folder and ‘move’ the old one back.

If for some reason you still have Sonic 3 SE in your VST2 folder, it should be OK since there is no such thing as Sonic/HALion 7 in VST2 format, but you could move those too if for some reason it’s still not working. Sonic 3 SE also kept a backup of the VST2 dll plugin in: “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files\Steinberg\Shared Components”. So you might check that your DAW is NOT scanning that directory for plugins.

Also double check that you have received your Sonic 7 key in your Mysteinberg account. Log in and look in the Products tab.

Open your Steinberg Activation center and make sure Sonic 7 is activated.

If you have any HALion content that needs the old eLicenser and/or dongle (pretty much everything that doesn’t ship with Cubase/Nuendo/Dorico or Sonic Collections/H7), make sure all that is setup as well. Yes, even free sounds you can grab various places ‘might’ still require the old eLicenser setup depending upon if they might have borrowed bits and pieces from different content libraries while building presets.


I took your suggestion one step further since this still didn’t work…
I ended up uninstalling all of Steinberg apps I had previously installed including deleting any other files related to the Sonic SE.
After that I reinstalled the Download Manager and reinstalled the HALion 7.
This time - it appeared at my products for activation (previously it wasn’t seen there).
So this was probably my first issue.

Lastly - I still had to copy the folder with the path since it was still not detected (meaning I had to create a “Common Files/VST3/Steinberg” path WITHIN my EXISTING VSTs folder and threw a copy of the files in there).
Eventually it worked!

Really too much effort… but this probably has to do with previous installation problems with the Sonic SE which wasn’t a free player as it is now and which super hard to get to work in first place…
Their new product manager and activation works much much better now.

Anyway… It was a long journey and I believe it should be easier for other Ableton users.
In case any other user bump into this - try the full path creation within your DAW VSTs folder or simply use the default path as what you use for you Ableton, might be an easier solution to start with before doing all of this.


Again, VST3 doesn’t require any path modification or copying of VST3 files by default.
There must be something with your install…

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Again… You can always use the system path and leave it unchanged within Ableton… and then installtion alone is enough.

Some people (like me) prefer to arrange the folders to their likings, and set a different path at the DAW. This lets me have everything organized exactly how I want. But installations doesn’t always let you set the path for VST3s.
In such cases you need to have the copy of the vst file itself in this path. It IS NOT a replacement for the installation - just another way to work. For me it was much more convenient since I had many vst2 plugins that had not vst3s versions and others that are vst3 - and I wanted everything in one place organized by the names I want.

Bottom line, it works now, and the issue was due to previously installed HALion Sonic SE installation that wasn’t done properly.
If you work with all default paths this can be solved by simply uninstalling the SE and installating the new HALion 7.

This is not a supported configuration. The VST3 specification specifies which folders must be used - in other words, only the default paths must be used. Do not be surprised when Steinberg plugins follow the Steinberg VST3 specification!

That’s just a guess from your side. On my system, both are installed and work like they should so far.
It could be confusing to others to get these kinds of suggestions.

I got an answer to what I was asking for based on the covesation here…
I understand this is not “how it should be done” by the book, but I got it to work and it makes sense to me at my studio setup.

Thought it might be of help to some other non-steinberg user who wishs to use HALion since I think it is a good product, that’s all.

I will delete the thread if you find it more confusing than helpful, I don’t mean to make anyones life harder by any means…

No need to delete anything. We made clear that this is not the recommended default setup.

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