No HALion SE mute yet for brass

I’m writing a workshop piece - for me to learn from, as much as for a performance - for trumpet, trombone and horn. Am I right that HALion SE doesn’t yet support mute techniques for those instruments, please?


It’s not a case of “yet” supporting mutes: the HSO sounds are not going to be expanded now, I’m afraid (they were recorded in 2006). And it is correct that the brass instruments in HSO do not include mute techniques.

Daniel, could you explain more?
Will the in-the-box sounds that Dorico has now never be updated or added to?
If Halion (any version), is updated, will Dorico support that easily if bought separately?

If I need to mock something up properly I don’t mind doing the work, but for error spotting listen throughs it’s nice to not have to fiddle with VSTs (but also nice if they’re close).

Halion Symphonic Orchestra is pretty old, most of the people involved don’t work with Steinberg anymore. They have no easy way to record the few extra sounds that are missing from HSO. They would have to hire a new team of professionals, but that would be horribly expensive for just a few extra sounds. At the same time, sampling an entire orchestra has become extremely expensive and time consuming, so even if they were working on a HSO 2, it wouldn’t be released anytime soon and probably wouldn’t be included for free with Dorico.

Halion Sonic SE has pop/jazz style trumpets with harmon mutes, but you’re out of luck with the rest. The company that made most of the sounds for the full version of Halion sampled pop trumpets and trombones with cup mutes, but they ended up not being included in any version.

Halion Sonic SE will continue to receive new sounds and expansions, but don’t expect any minor updates to Halion Symphonic Orchestra.

The included GPO sounds and playing styles are one area where Finale has had consistent updates. Sibelius’ playback is pretty efficient.
Dorico is behind here. I’d be surprised if this was the last word…

I’m certainly not saying that the sounds included with Dorico will never be updated, Steve. But the HALion Symphonic Orchestra library will never be updated.

It’s at least encouragement to get to grips with Play mode.

Thanks, Daniel and Romantique Tp, for the clarification.

On the one hand I can live without brass mutes - Dorico has way too much going for it not to :slight_smile:

On the other hand, it would be nice to have them. So far I have held off delving into VST settings, having come to believe from my experience with Sibelius that it can be a huge time sink now that I actually have chances to hear my efforts performed by real humans (a dream I’ve had for half a century - literally!)

But is there anything published which guides users through the process of setting up MIDI CCs etc to ‘mimic’ this (‘doing the work’, as Steve says); or is it impossible, and there is a need to find another way to do it, please?

Let’s hope it’s not the last word, because the sounds and efx incl. with Halion SE are not (nor are they intended to be) competitive with professional-quality virtual-intrument applications such as Kontakt or (better yet) UVI Falcon. For detailed samples of a variety of playing techniques, Falcom plus its (for extra $$) IRCAM solo & orchestral libraries has tons of mutes and other playing techniques sampled impeccably.

I hope Dorico will support Falcon to at least the same extent that it now supports Kontakt for playback.

Much as I’d like to be able to do a whole notation/orchestration/final master project within one environment, I’m content for the moment to
notate with one product, orchestrate, mix, and “perform” with external DAWs. As long as I can export the notated representation of the piece, I can
live with that. I’d rather have a very stable, well-documented, and modern notation environment than a huge built-in playback system - if I have to make the choice.

I don’t think there’s anything that prevents you from using UVI Falcon with Dorico right now, is there? You can assign instruments to it, you can create VST Expression Maps for it, and so on. If you have a specific problem with using UVI Falcon with Dorico, please provide more details.

I found two muted trumpet sounds in HALion Sonic SE. I’ve created a second instrument (for the muted trumpet sound) for my Tpt 1 player in Setup. How can I get him to switch to this trumpet (Soulful MutedTrumpetNoteExp) from the Write layout?

You’d have to write your own expression map that specifies that the muted technique can be obtained by switching to a different channel, and make sure that you manually loaded the appropriate sounds into the appropriate slots in HALion Sonic SE, and save a playback template. It’s quite involved.

A satisfactory work-around for me right now, is just to have a separate file version of that piece for audio-export, where I delete the muted-trumpet section on the main track and copy it to the secondary track that has the muted trumpet sound, right? Then in a separate file, I just leave the entire tpt1 part on one system, because I’m only using it for print-out.
With Dorico’s nifty “player” system, seems it would be a nice feature for future installments to have one player be able to “pick up” a different instrument for playback in the middle of a piece.

You could assign separate voices to the same trumpet player to cover both the muted and open sounds.

SOLVED, kinda. I made a separate AUDIO-only file. Then I created a separate staff each for the TPT1 and TPT2 parts on muted trumpet sound. I exported this as audio.
Would be nice at some point to be able to have a built-in patch change that corresponded with “take mute” or “con sordino” that would switch to the muted sound in the same part as the regular trumpet sound.

Just cut to the chase and buy NotePerformer.

It is both far better sounding and more expansive than Halion.

I’ve had noteperformer for years now. But I’m using quite a lot of EW for mock ups.

Daniel, can you explain (or guide me to an explanation) how this done? Would this also work with Kontakt?

Paul’s introductory post in this sticky thread talks about the general approach. Take a look at the examples he discusses for the EastWest libraries there.

Many thanks, Daniel. My mistake. I was using “Program Change” rather then “Channel Change”. With Channel Change I can easily define the expression map to switch between natural and muted instruments. Works well with Kontakt and the Chris Hein Horns Compact library.