Halion Sonic SE and MIDI keyboard

I want to change instruments in Halion while I am playing on my MIDI keyboard. How can I do this? The instruments are changing, when I input the notes, but I want to just play on keybord, not inputing notes.

In another words: how can I change MIDI channel for my keyboard, while it sends information to Halion?

I’m not sure how that’s done in HALion. If you make a selection on another staff in Dorico then you should find that when you play on your keyboard, it uses the appropriate sound for that staff.

I’m not sure I fully understand the question but here are some ideas that ‘might’ cover it.

How do I audition things I play on my MIDI Keyboard without inputting notes into the score?

  1. Set your score up first, with the staves and instruments you want. Even if you do not intend to actually enter music on the score, you’ll want to make staves for each instrument you’d like to sound. Dorico will auto select instruments from a default template. If you want to use something different from what Dorico chose at this point, then open HALion from the Play Tab and manually change the instrument(s).

  2. In Write mode, enter ‘insert’ mode (click the cursor icon, or try tapping the “i” key), then double click somewhere on the stave for the sound you’d like to play. You should see an ‘entry cursor’ pop up near where you have double clicked. This will cause Dorico to divert whatever MIDI input is coming in to the proper plugin instance and MIDI channel for said stave. It also leaves Dorico in a mode to enter whatever notes you play, at the duration you have set, on the score.

  3. Next tap the ESC key, which will cancel the input cursor. At this point, you should find that you can still play your keyboard and hear what you are playing, but nothing will be entered on the score. If you want to change to a different sound/instrument, then double click somewhere in the stave who’s instrument you wish to hear, tap esc again. You should hear the new instrument now.

Can I ‘channel bounce’ remotely from my MIDI controller?

No. Dorico accepts ALL MIDI input, from all connected controllers/devices, merges it, and then transforms the MIDI channel to whatever stave is ‘active’ for MIDI input.

You’ll need to do this ‘plugin/channel bouncing’ from Dorico as described above. Think of it like ‘arming tracks’ in a tracking DAW, but there is no way change the outgoing channel to ‘any’. It is stuck to whatever plugin/channel the stave uses in the Play Tab. The first time you attempt to ‘insert’ something on a stave, it gets ‘armed’ for MIDI input, and stays armed until you go through the process to ‘insert’ something on a different stave.

Start the process to enter notes on a stave and then ‘esc’ out. At that point Dorico will change to the proper plugin and channel for the stave, and you can play things and hear them, without adding/changing notes in the score.

Can I change the Plugin and Channel a Dorico stave uses?

Yes, this is done from the Play tab using your mouse and/or computer keyboard. As far as I know, there is not a way to make these changes via MIDI remote control.

Can I change the channel an instrument receives on in HALion Sonic SE?

If HALion is in General MIDI mode, then no. The slots are fixed from channels 1-16 respectively.

If HALion is NOT in General MIDI mode, then yes, you can, but NOT via remote. You’ll need to make such changes using your mouse in the SE User Interface.

In the “MIDI” Tab you can set any of your 16 instrument slots to receive over any channel. It is common to use this feature to ‘exchange’ active instrument slots (when experimenting with different variations of a sound), or to layer up several sounds set to use the same MIDI channel.

Can I use MIDI Program Change (PC) events to remotely change instruments in HALion Sonic SE?

It is possible, but not really recommended with Dorico unless you understand that you’ll be fully responsible for getting HALion set up on your own, and getting the correct PC events into your score somehow. You’ll no longer be working in a realm that Dorico can easily ‘auto manage’ in terms of picking/changing instruments.

The way Dorico launches SE when automatically choosing instruments does NOT allow this (PC events are totally ignored), but SE itself can be configured to respond to Program Change events. In the Options Tab of Sonic SE, you can find a drop-down selector for “Program Changes”.

If one chooses the General MIDI mode, then Sonic SE will call up sounds from its “SE Basic” content pack in a General MIDI I compliant manner. One can also re-map different instruments to take the place of the defaults [I.E. Change the default Piano sound on PC 1 to something else].

If one chooses the Multi Mode, one can teach Sonic SE to pull up pre-saved multi-instrument setups (built with the Multi-Tab) with a single MIDI Program Change.

Can I just just use HALion Sonic SE as a stand alone instrument without Dorico?

If you are still running HALion SE 2, then the answer is no. You’ll need to host HALion SE sound from inside Dorico (Or other Steinberg Hosts like Cubase).

If you have installed or upgraded on the same system as Dorico, to the free HALion Sonic SE 3 Player, (quite a bit HALion content comes with Dorico, and you’ll need it all installed, including eLisencer and your Dorico Key) then yes. You can launch a stand alone version of Sonic SE, and treat it like a Rompler Engine for practice or live performing. The Stand Alone version of SE includes a simple MIDI recorder/player.

Thank you all for response.

The staff selection isn’t enough. I have to double click for note input and then press „esc”, as Brian Roland said.
Is it the only way, or there is something faster, without this steps? And is it a way to have possibility to change instrument playback in not only in „write mode”?

It’s the only way I’m aware of.