Levels in HSO

Hi all

I’ve been working with HSO for a month or so now and its great. My question is when exporting my composition the wav form is very very and very thin. Everything is in midi, what I mean by that is I havent created wavs for each instrument/sound and then imported them in and then done my mix with audio.

I have just kept everything in midi and used the midi mixer to change levels. I dont usually do things this way with other vst’s but with ppls HSO videos on the net I just copied the way they did it. The thing is the instrument mixer levels are very low in the lead displays, but the midi mixer levels are going over half way. Am I doing this right? I managed to get a decent level at mastering but if I want to send this off to a mastering engineer would they be able to work with a very very thin wav? How can I make things louder? I know the volume level of HSO is set to 0db. I tried to set it higher but it just made instruments sound as if they were being thrashed.

Many thx if you can shed some light on this for me.

Hi europica

How low is low?

Think of HSO as a very dynamic instrument, just like an orchestra. If you make a score for the whole thing, and let them play as loud as they can, you need a hell lot of head room. If HSO is designed for 0 dB in that case, a sols flute would contribute with very few dB, when played at minimum dynamic (round -50 dB).

So there isn’t necessary something wrong, if you have low levels in quiet passage. But of cause you level shall be reasonable in your final mix, so you might have to ad additional gain.

My experience is that volume in the amplifier section does not alter the sound, only the level. You write that increasing volume level alter your sound. Are you talking of volume in the amplifier section or the modulation wheel (CC01)?

If you still miss gain, you could insert a compressor some where in the audio chain. If you set Ratio to 1.00 you have additional 24 dB of gain in the Make-up gain without any compression.

Hi Egebjerg

many thanks for getting back to me. By low I mean very low. The wav form of my mixdown is thinner that if I drew a line on a piece of paper with a marker pen.

I understand what you are saying about HSO being a dynamic instrument. I know some instruments like the flute can be very quiet and other instruments are loud. What I’m asking is how can I level things out, using these instruments so I have a reasonable level in my exported mix. The main volume in HSO is set to 0db. Should I increase this for say somthing like the quiter sounds like the flute?

With all the vst’s I use this is the first time I’ve had this experience. Like you’ve said there is no problem, it’s just the dynamics of a real orchestra. All I wanna do is have a reasonable mixdown level.

Once again many thnks for your reply.

Hi europica

Could you support us with an exact reproducible level in dB?

The reason why I asked is because there is a lot of ways to reduce level I HSO, and some of them isn’t quite obvious. it also depends on whether you use the original HSO or whether you use HALion Sonic HSO VST Sound Instrument Set in CB6.

In HSSE using Flute Combi and pressing C4 with modulation (CC01) at maximum 127, I read a peak value round -19.6 dB on the main Stereo Out.

In HSO using Flt Solo Combi Xswitch KS_16 and pressing C4 with a Expression level (CC11) at maximum 127, I read a peak value round -11.6 dB.

Hello once again Egebjerg :slight_smile:

I hadnt fogotten about this and got a chance to try out your advice and reply. It seems that I have got somewhere with it. I loaded that exact Flute patch in HSO and set to Expression (C11) to 127 and also the footswitch (C4) to 127. I’m now getting a reading of -5.9 db, a massive improvent. I tried the main volume too with the expression and got the same reading.

I use the 16 Bit version of HSO, that came with Cubase 5 when I purchased it. Not the Halion Sonic version. Anyways, many thx for your very helpful advice, its very much appreciated.


oops, I forgot to add/ask. I use the expression control for crescendos so using the foot pedal at the same time cancel out the crescendo effect?