HSO midi note velocities

HSO plays all midi notes at the same velocity.

They’re written with different velocities (very low to very high) and no other modifications have been made (automations and so on).

The same behaviour occurs in other DAWs.

Note: this is NOT about the modulation wheel.


Open HALion Sonic MIDI tab, and make sure the Velocity is set from 0-127.

Thank you for the reply,

The problem is not with the Halion Sonic - everything is set correctly (midi velocity range in all midi channels) and the velocity is correctly performed by the other instruments inside Halion Sonic.

The same is not true with the Halion Symphonic Orchestra, either when inside Halion Sonic or when used as a VSTi.

The same problem occurs when used as a VSTi in other DAWs.


Check the settings of Velocity on the Options page of HSO. Also make sure the Dynamic Range is set correctly.

There’s is no Velocity on the Options page/s.

Can you show me a picture of that?

Dynamic Range is up.


Is it possible that the modulation wheel is somehow overriding the note velocities?

Here , page 14 on the picture right down XY metric.

Could you share your screenshots, please?

Here is a picture,

I’ve noticed that the issue occurs with the strings while it doesn’t with other instruments - such as percussions.

You have expression set to Modulation. Set it to Velocity.

This is not a solution to the problem because then the modulation wheel will not work!

I should be able to do crescendos/decrescendos with the modulation wheel and accents with midi note velocities.

In all strings the default for the Expression under MIDI Controller is Modulation, therefore my guess is that that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

So, how can I enable midi note velocities without loosing the modulation wheel functionality?

Yes, that’s how it’s designed.

If you set expression to velocity you still have cc11 for cresc-decresc.


Thank you for the explanation.



HSO was originally a standalone VSTi, and the documentation for that version was much better. Below is an extract from that manual that might help explain why this apparently strange control method was adopted:

"_If HALion Symphonic Orchestra is your first professional orchestra li-
brary, if you are not used to conducting, and if you’ve always used or-
chestral sounds from hardware samplers or keyboard workstations,
you will have to forget about a couple of “bad” habits – using velocity
as your main controller for controlling expression and dynamics for ex-
ample. While velocity is appropriate for controlling dynamics for drums,
keyboards or synthesizers, orchestra sections and especially string in-
struments are a totally different story.

When playing drums, pianos, guitars or other percussive instruments,
the volume and intensity is defined by the attack, after that there are
few options to change anything related to dynamics.

With bowed instruments, this is totally different. Strings need expres-
sion control all the time, and most of it is happening after the initial at-

We have introduced a special Crescendo controller allowing you to
continuously control the expression while you are working. It not only
controls the volume, but also the choice of the layer played according
to the controller value (i.e. the actual pianissimo, piano, … forte, fortis-
simo recording).

From now on bear in mind: When playing and arranging with HALion
Symphonic Orchestra, for many instruments the crescendo controller is
much more important than velocity_."