Iconica Sketch - How to populate Track List from Halion Sonic

Hello Cubase users
I’m trying out Iconica Sketch.
I’ve loaded up a little wind band in Halion Sonic, like this…

But I can’t figure out how to get the instruments I’ve loaded in Halion Sonic to appear in the Track List. (Normally, I put instruments in the Track List by double-clicking them in the Media Bay)
Can someone tell me how to get my wind band instruments to display in the Track List, please?

There are a few possibilities, depending on how specifically you want the tracks to work with respect to both MIDI control and audio output.

If you’re content to have this ensemble come out of a single stereo mixer channel, you’d just need to create additional MIDI tracks, including configuring which specific MIDI channels each MIDI track uses, and making sure the MIDI channel configurations for each instruments in HALion Sonic match the separate MIDI tracks you want to drive them. Then you would use HALion Sonic’s Mixer tab to deal with any balance, panning, etc. differences between individual instruments.

If you also want each instrument to come out of a separate MixConsole channel, then you’d need to configure multiple audio outputs in Cubase and route the individual instrument outputs within HALion Sonic to come out the relevant outputs. There is an excellent video on how to do that with HALion Sonic (and also Groove Agent) by Dom Sigalas at:

One other alternative is to use a separate HALion Sonic instrument track for each of the instruments you want in your ensemble, so basically doing your usual double-clicking on HALion Sonic in Media Bay one time for each instrument you want in your ensemble. (Or add multiple instrument tracks from the menu to get those tracks appearing more quickly.) Then rename the tracks to match the instrument names you want (to avoid confusion later), and go into each instance to configure the Iconica Sketch instrument you want in that instance. (This is the approach I’ve used with the projects I’ve done with Iconica Sketch to date. Though it obviously uses more instances of HALion Sonic, it feels simpler with respect to organization of my project.)


This method is recommended for performance reasons.

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Thanks @ASM @rickpaul
Good of you to reply. But, unless I’m missing something (which is possible), I’m afraid that doesn’t answer my question.
I know I can open multiple tracks and select an instrument for each one. I also know I can go into Media Bay and select my instruments there. But doing either of these opens multiple copies of Halion Sonic, which is what I’m trying to avoid.
I added two more tracks as advised, but it immediately opened two more copies of HS, as you can see in this pic. Three instruments at left. Three times HS at right.

But my situation is that I’ve already set up a wind band in one instance of HS (see centre) and I want to populate the track list with these instruments I’ve already set up.
Is there any way to do this?

Yes, it is but it’s a bit annoying in my opinion. You need to create MIDI tracks for the instruments in slots 2–7, assign the existing HS instance to them via the inspector, and set the MIDI channels accordingly. You can now record MIDI on these tracks which is sent to the selected slot of the HS instance.
Since plain MIDI tracks don’t have audio channels assigned to them (in contrast to instrument tracks), you need to handle the audio output through the instrument track holding the HS instance.
In the mixer you get both a MIDI and an audio channel for each instrument in slots 2–7 representing the MIDI tracks and the additional outputs of the HS instrument track.
To me, it’s easier to create separate instrument tracks each with its own HS instance. It would be nice if you could assign the same HS instance to several instrument tracks (as it’s possible in Studio One for example) but that’s not possible (yet).

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That’s exactly what I was talking about in the first part of my earlier response. You just need to add the relevant MIDI tracks (manually) if you’re okay with just have the mixed stereo output from the HALion ensemble. If you also want separate audio inputs into Cubase, you have to do the part of adding the extra outputs from HALion.

But, personally, I prefer single instrument per instance of HALion, and, as ASM indicated, there may be performance benefits to that. (I’ve heard mixed opinions on this, but the main one for going that route seems to be that it may allow better spreading the load across multiple CPUs within modern multiprocessors.)

Note that this consideration is not unique to HALion. It would be similar with any multi-timbral VST instrument (e.g. Kontakt) where you want to use the same instrument for multiple instrument parts within your recording.

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In Cubase, VST instruments can be used in Track or Rack mode.
Track (red): Several VST instruments are controlled by each one Instrument Track on each one channel
Rack (blue): One VST instrument is controlled by (typically) several MIDI Tracks on different channels

As I understand it, you should then use the Rack mode (though not advantageous), with only one VST instrument with multiple sounds in multiple slots.
You can save your existing slot arrangement as a HALion Multi-Program and open it again in the new (Rack) instance.

HALion Multi-Program

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There’s an interesting video by Dom Sigalas:

He generally recommends the use of Instrument Tracks over MIDI Tracks>Rack VSTi, both for reasons of better performance and handling. Btw, this is in line with my personal experience in Cubase.


Many thanks to you all for your patience and explaining so carefully. I was a bit slow to catch on. But I’ve got it now.

When @rickpaul said “create additional MIDI tracks” I misunderstood and thought he meant to open additional VST instrument MIDI tracks.

I now see what @Martin90 means by “you need to handle the audio output through the instrument track holding the HS instance.” The audio all comes thru the first VST instrument track.

Actually, the reason I wanted to do this in the first place was to avoid opening multiple instances of HS. I thought it would use less processor power. But now you’re all suggesting it’s the other way round, which is interesting. So if I want an orchestra, I suppose I should just go ahead and open, say, 20 or 25 different instances of HS.

Many thanks again

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