I guess they are already on that train.
Halion is more than that particular sampler right now.
They use it as an engine for all the new vstis.
Have a look at Groove Agent 4. it is completely based on Halion 5
and so one could say that it is more likely a Halion extension than
a whole new thing.
I can only guess. But I think Yamaha is already involved and they are pushing
The Cubase programme itself is to me is like a beautifully sounding
sound stage with great editing facilities and some ‘nice’ musicians
just sitting in the wings waiting to be used if necessary. (Halion/VST collection etc)
However, once I have ‘bought the hall’, so to speak,
I prefer to first bring in some out-of-town musicians from other places like:
Ivory/Trillian/Sup Drums/Omni/NI/ SampleTank etc and then on occasion I will
let some ‘local’ players from Steiny ‘sit in’. If necessary.
Hey Curt, but it would be good to use more musicians very familiar with the hall. Friendly guys who know there way around the building already, and are a breeze to work with, no additional paperwork, no new accounts.
Just set up and get right to work.
Cuz the Trilian musicians are getting a little predictable and they do not stay in touch with me to let me know their schedule… and I have simply stopped fighting with IK musicians, their playing is just ‘ok’ but working with jerks isn’t worth my time or money. I’m always fine with bringing in different drummers, that is the one thing which I want the variety.
some how steinbergs Halion series sounds are kind of “OK” for mediacore level not more than that… tons of presets but
most of them are based on the same avarage level samples.
i much prefer less presets but have some high quality useful ones. steinberg really needs to be better in that department (i mostly reference for the “real” acoustic instruments in halion/sonic.)
i disagree that the samples that are delivered are average. But the presets are of a stoneage level sometimes indeed.
And then i focus on the rendering of real life instruments.
By far most of them are quite nice samples and the level of sample-level-programming behind those mutli-layered banks is probably something we will never reach.
But they are just offered as old scool playback stuff. But the engine is far more capable of doing things with them.
You see this happening in some other banks, as f.e. the dark planet soundbank. There they show the functionality of the software, but, only with single layer samples, and heavily pushing towards slicing.
The presentation of the soundbanks that do exist, is imho thus just the tip of the Iceberg in terms of functionality if someone could dive into those “old” banks with nice samples of real life instruments.
Why spending tons of resources on another guitar or string or bagpipe or horn with little difference with the ones we have? They are ok imho. They made tons of good music with it.
Advanced and intelligent automation at the preset level, and i suggest a much further approach then it is implemented now with the little effort that has being put into f.e. the flex engines, can upgrade those soundbanks for many more years without the need to reinvent the wheel.
For example Vienna explores this terrain with the pro version of their instruments. And as far as i can notive, their is still terrain to cover.
and i agree that you get the feeling, with the current presentations, that you can sometimes have the feeling that they are buying modules and adding it just “as is” without adding much “Sparks” to it.
That is a bit a no-go imho.
Ok, we are the ones that need to make the music, but they are the ones that have to show us the way with their soft.
And it gives good reviews too most of the times, if it is done properly.
Its not all bad of course… there are some good to great sounds, also the add-ons like neo-soul keys are great and dark planet too.(those i who i have and enjoy)
also maybe some samples are ok technically , but they are not good enough to reproduce the right articulation and feeling of an real instrument.
for example the new ethnic sound with H5/HS2… well most of them are toyish and one dimensional in term of playability , the arabic Percussion are too static and not convincing etc…
all in all in they are general workstations romplers with great potential , which need better specific genre quality libraries,developed by steinberg/yamaha and 3rd party developers.
FWIW and if you have not tried it. you should try an instrument of the Vienna stuff. Try to obtain a full articulation library.Then you’ll notice it is existing, but this is really a different kind of approach to sample libraries in terms of quality. There the focus is on top tech level on sampling. Their libraries are not affected by age. In fact NI uses their old banks as reference examples. But that kind of sample banks is very expensive too due to the limited number of customers, and i guess SB is not ever going to compete with that kind of stuff.
What attracted me to HaLion was how bloody fast and easy it is to get deep into personal sound design. It integrates so well into CuBase that it feels like ‘part of the DAW’. I’ve yet to experience any other workflow where I can sit back and ‘jam’, and really easily grab samples or loops right out my ‘jam session’ and drop them into Halion zones and have a working instrument foundation within moments. It’s rather nice for me to have it all in the same Media Browser, and to be able to drag and drop samples, zones, layers, and midi arps/loops from just about anywhere in the workflow that I desire.
Next…I’m quite excited about the note expression capabilities of Halion. Now that Steinberg has taken on the old Sibelius ‘score team’, I’m hopeful that this will lead to some pretty significant innovations in score importation/ interpretation and engraving quality for the flagship DAW line of products.
I’m not sure if people realize it just yet, but note expression can be implemented in ways that could seriously reduce the need for a 20gig round robin set of samples for a convincing solo instrument. That can be a big plus for the growing trend to use things like tablets and smart-phones as capable, yet portable composition work-stations.
If I need a prefab sample library, I’ll buy one and use what ever ‘free’ player comes with it if need be. Yes, I’d love to see more libraries become available for Halion…even if they were just raw sample sets that didn’t come with a single patch…but really…as someone with no plans to market the instruments I create with Halion, I think it’s close enough in price and power to the full version of Kontakt that I’m getting my money’s worth.
In my personal view, I put my money into ease of use…primarily, much better integration with CuBase. If I need third party libraries, I can always still buy them and use the free players that come with them.
One thing I seriously miss from the hardware sampler days…is access to really nice raw sample libraries. Yes, we can still find old CD collections…with some usable samples in them, and Halion does a better than expected job of importing them…but sadly, there’s not many ‘raw libraries’ out there (that I’m aware of) in today’s 24bit high frequency formats. The stuff coming out these days is encrypted…and locks you into their players and patches. Resampling is an option I suppose…but a PITA, and still forces us to pay for all the patches/programming, players and stuff when all I really want is the raw samples.
most of it spot on imho. Great state of the art machine, and i love the GUIvst3 approach as an addition to your statement.
The only thing imho not mentioned is a record button with assignable inputs. That would bring it back to the old scool sampler functionality.
The new stuff is drag and drop with references to locations but the old way of being able to build your own library on the spot was a great functionality, and it’s sad that this is no longer in scope.
I certainly can appreciate a desire for that type of sound design planning, prep, and work flow…particularly from the perspective of a sound designer who sits down with intent to build a complete instrument and possibly even market that as a product in its own right. If I were into that sort of thing, I’d probably have considered H5 as a third or fourth choice rather than my 1st, and to me it’d be more about the lack of sfz support (and a variety of other industry standard exportable formats). It’d certainly make sense to add these capabilities if they want more developers using the Halion engine to build and share libraries on a larger scale. Heck, they could even make it a developers expansion pack and charge a little more for those features (and maybe give a price cut to the current feature set to make it a more competitive option).
If I had to choose between being able to import/export sfz, and having a built in sampler environment…I’d personally rather have sfz I have at least two dozen apps here capable of making and editing high quality samples, tagging, and organizing them (many of them free, or really inexpensive). What I don’t have is a quick and easy way to export an open, non-proprietary patch that I can share with other educators under free licenses on free players. I suppose I could spring for something like a ChickenSystems dev package if that’s what I really wanted…and well…that cost as much H5 and from what little I piddled with it, it’s not as easy, powerful, or as much fun.
I tend to take a different approach to sound design, and H5 rocks in this regard. Rather than trying to anticipate every need and build a massive patch that can handle anything I might care to throw at it ‘in the future’…I just build what I need on the fly. Don’t like the articulation of that trumpet phrase? I pause long enough to build exactly what I need and keep it simple. It’s not uncommon for me to make a quick and simple patch for a 6 bar phrase that might never ever be used again. I stop ‘composing’ just long enough to fashion what I need to match what my imagination wants to accomplish. Sometimes it’s with real acoustical instruments…others it might be a mix-mesh of other synth sounds I happened to capture almost by accident in ‘jam, or experimentation’ sessions.
With articulate orchestral arrangements and the individual instruments required to build those, my way isn’t terribly practical…a serious arranger in that respect is naturally going to want a really robust library at hand, that he knows from top to bottom (so he can find things) that’s all ready to go. He has a dozen or more choices out there of folks publishing high end libraries.
H5 kind of fills a hole in the market for spontaneous sound design (Jazz, Pop, HipHop, Dance, Movie and Game sound tracks, etc.). I.E. The kind of folks who like to sit at the DAW and play into the thing with a guitar, wind jammer, the human voice, or whatever…then use that material for further inspiration on down the line. The average DAW user already knows how to hit record in the DAW, and highlight bits of a track he wants to turn into some sort of component for an instrument in something like H5 or GA4.
Even though it’s quite capable of doing it…H5 may well have a ways to go before it really grabs the attention of developers trying the capture the intense range of expression in things like wind and bowed string instruments; however, if more people into improv styles of music making sat down and played with a CuBase/Nuendo/H5/GA4 setup, I think Steinberg could easily capture a good chunk of that market. The fact you don’t have to set up a ‘sampler section’, or go through 4 different work flows and file systems to create or open samples, slice, loop, layer, process, and trigger is great for that sort of ‘on the fly’ sound designer.
Yes it is very quick to work with. Also, the fact that you have extended functionality that can be combined with several synth engines is also very good.
But still, it’s limited to a certain project and a specific machine unless you export your work every time as a vst-soundcontainer.
But the referencing to the samples is most of the time related to the pool or directly from your harddrive, and with the fact that protected material can’t be aved in that vst-soundcontainer, it’s often quite a job to get everything first exported to “new” audiofiles to be able to finally build a vst-sound that can be interchanged.
If you would have an open audio input, like a normal sampler, the referencing shouldn’t be needed and the value of the software would be much more for someone who is making a project, since it’s sounds could be interchanged much more easier. And FWIW, if you “can” override the protecions without a problem by exporting them and reloading them, what’s the use of that protection. In my opinion: none.
I hear ya, and totally agree that porting anything from a protected vstpreset (the stuff included with the Sonic Soundset) could be nightmarish if the target machine doesn’t have H5 set up in a very similar way. The second machine user will need H5 installed, and may even have to go through and manually locate/register layers or samples (assuming they have them installed). I’d like to see a way to address that in an easier and more intuitive way. It’d certainly be a major plus for people designing H5 sound sets as an end product in and of itself. It is kind of strange to me that you can’t bundle complete Sonic layers in a vstsoundset (at least the messages H5 throws at you when trying makes it seem this way)…when no one can even open the containers and use the stuff without an H5 installation/license in the first place! After all…SE or Sonic doesn’t allow bringing any of this user produced content in…so, it’s pretty much useless without a valid H5 key anyway…so why not let H5 users swap their Sonic based content with ease?
That’s where H5 could use a ‘dev pack’, which includes some sort of free player platform for distribution, and a way to license stuff for SE and Sonic owners would be nice as well.
I think maybe the general idea here is…don’t try to export projects. Instead use the CuBase/Nuendo ‘live connect’ system. I’ve never used it, so I don’t know good or bad that element is…but if that technology is as good as the hype, we no longer really need to export projects as much. Just call the client and have them dial right in to a live session and collaborate over it. As for protecting the entire production environment…entire system backups take only a click or two and backup media is cheaper than labor these days. Just back-up the entire system…OS and all, do a sysprep on that drive, and carry that and your USB key with you to the studio (Might require an enterprise class OS, or at least a non OEM license that doesn’t lock itself to specific cpu/motherboard).
Keep in mind I’m looking at it from the perspective of a CuBase/Nuendo user. I find it pretty easy to trim and move presets and user-samples from a project folder to a permanent library location if it’s the sort of patch I want to use in many projects. I don’t worry too much about vstsoundsets unless I’m trying to package something up to archive or port to another system where I know H5 also lives (really rare for me…in my area the majority of musicians I collaborate with use Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, and occasionally Pro Tools, or Sonic with whatever stock sounds they came with). As for getting new samples…the integration into the DAW makes it the easiest work-flow I’ve had to date. Even if I want to ‘resample’ various layers of other VST instruments…or pre-recorded audio tracks…the new ‘Instant Rendering’ features of CuBase 8 makes it a breeze. If I want to do something similar, but with one of my hardware synths (say the Fantom XR), I just build a MIDI template, set up the XR, start an audio track recording from a spdif input, set some punch-in/out points, tap the record button, and go have some coffee and give my ears a break from monitor fatigue.
From there I just cut up the audio event into manageable slices/parts/events with the scissor tool, and drag them right onto a H5 zone, a granular synth module, or into GA4 and go to work. I love how I can start out with a general set of sound shaping envelopes at the zone layer if I wish, then work my way down to individual samples. Can even megatrig individual samples in a zone…and never have to touch a text editor or scripting language! They make it super intuitive to assign any little parameter in the synth engine to any kind of midi event or other automated or remote DAW trigger I want. Excited that I’m freed from the limits of ‘midi channel data’, and can bend the pitch, filters, dynamics, and effect processors of individual notes on a track one by one (VST3 note expression…add the power of Logic Editors, and that opens up new horizons in editing soundscapes). Blown away at how easy it is to copy layers and make key or CC switched variants, yet only add a few kilobytes of data to the patch. Impressed by how easy it is to drag in alternating layers, mega-triggers, arps, etc…without needing a script editor and practice in said scripting language. Totally amazed at how the Project and Track Logic Editors of CuBase/Nuendo kind of become an extra set of hands in the overall process of crafting a H5 patch.
In short, the DAW itself IS the ‘sampler’, and in the case of CuBase/Nuendo, it becomes a super layer building tool…where I no longer think of it in terms of building a sample with a set of stereo inputs…but rather, as having unlimited sampler inputs (or in live scenarios, limited by the number of inputs in my audio interface) For folks into surround sound sampling…a Nuendo/H5 setup might actually be the best choice on the market right now.
I.E. Take a 16 track sound-scape…highlight it, do an instant render, and bam, it’s mixed down to a stereo sample ready to drag right into the synth-engine. Need that to be a 7 channel surround sound sample? The DAW has ya covered on that as well
In this scenario, don’t think of the DAW and Synth as two different tools. It’s all the same integrated beast…
Now instead of thinking on a patch by patch micro level…my mind works more in a big sound-scaping level.
Much of my perspective probably flys totally out of the window if trying to use H5 with any other DAW or Scoring package. To be taken more seriously as a universal sound engine for boxing and selling instruments…you’re 100% correct that they need a version available with all of the key features you’ve been referring. With CuBase it’s super easy to just sample right there in the DAW and drag it anywhere you want. Instant Rendering makes it really easy to resample other VST/plugin textures for further manipulation in the H5 or GA4 synth engine. Pry H5 away from CuBase/Nuendo, and it most likely feels like a terribly crippled, glorified rompler engine.
HSSE comes with all editions of Cubase, so Steinberg already have an almost “free” player in the form of Cubase LE, and if there was a community-contributed free library for HSSE it would be a huge incentive for people to try out Cubase, and consequently HSSE and H5.
I’ve pointed this out before, but I think it would be great if you could create .vstsound files using H5 that were playable in HALion Sonic SE. It would be the opposite to Native Instruments … with them you get a free player, but have to pay for the libraries, and if you get a free library, it will only play in the full version of Kontakt.
Just to illustrate the very problem Roel mentions, as an example, I recently changed machines after a HD failure, and despite the new drives/locations matching exactly the previous ones, I now have one library with 840 presets that all require the sample paths resolving. One by one. Manually.
Whilst I appreciate that relative file path support is not in the design paradigm, sample management is fundamentally important in a sampler, and HALion is weak there. A shame when it’s so strong in all other departments.
I haven’t had a need to test this theory, but I was under the assumption that all I need to do is open the main CuBase/Nuendo media bay, tick any directories that have valid vstpresets/samples/etc in them, then do a rescan of the media bay.
Does this not bring in all the sounds as it finds then?
If my theory is correct, they could make it a bit more obvious on the procedure needed to update/refresh the database. If my theory is dead wrong…then I totally agree it’s a serious issue that needs correction ASAP.
Even if my theory works out…does the non CuBase/Nuendo user have access that Media Bay?
Yes, the media bay is fine if you only use 3th party libraries that have all tagging nicely done in it.
Yes, you can also use the browser tab in Halion for everything else when you only want to do sample playback.
The weakness in the package for me is the fact that when you are making samples, that there is no “input” section.
You can drag and drop from everywhere you want, but if you want to “capture” any form of sounds it’s up to redering things first and then drag and drop. Some form of input management to directly capture a sound (“i.e. sampling”) would be great.
Simplest way to explain it is maybe to say that the send channels in cubase should be able to connect to an input (recoring) section of Halion. That, for every channel including VSTI-channels.
But FWIW: i love Halion, and the workflow is super fast for the rest, so i’m happy.