Pre-Sale Questions

  1. Does Halion5 contain all the same content as Halion Sonic2?

  2. Can -all- the editing controls in Halion5 be automated? I ask because it seems that although you can MIDI Learn controls like ‘Filter Cutoff’ in the Halion Sonic SE in Cubase 7.06 you can’t read/write automation for them. IOW: Can you read/write all parameters (Filter, Envelopes, etc.) as one could in Hal3?

There are several HSSE sounds I’ve used on a project but I was dismayed to find that I can’t automate the rotary controls (Filter Cutoff, etc.) so I may want to purchase the full version if this limitation is not there.

BTW: Is there a demo of Hal5 one can download yet?



Yes, but if you didn’t already have HALion 4, you will get that factory content as well.

You can automate almost ANY parameter (filter, envelope, etc., you can even automate the type of filter and configuration of the filter section such as parallel, serial, etc.) For each slot, the choices are: Mute, Solo, Volume, Pan, Program Change, then the eight Quick Controls, then the vertical and horizontal Sphere axes.
So, that means that any instrument parameter that is assignable to one of the Quick Controls is automatable, which is just about every parameter. So, IOW, yes, you can automate the parameters but you have to go THROUGH the instruments Quick Controls. When you mention the MIDI learn, it is important to differentiate between automating the instrument parameters and automating the MIDI CCs which are controlling an instrument parameter. So, that means you can ALSO automate almost any parameter in HALion by assigning a MIDI CC to control it and then automating that MIDI CC.

I don’t think there is a demo yet.

Thanks. I -think- that answers my questions. One follow-up though. Specifically…

If a Halion Sonic SE ‘instrument’ has a knob that says ‘Filter Cutoff’ and I hit Learn and twist it, it is assigned to my midi controller. BUT, as I wrote, that data cannot be automated… Filter Cutoff is not one of the options for ‘Quick Controls’. So… WHERE in a Cubase CPR will I be able to ‘see’ the automation? If it’s not a MIDI CC, then I assume it would show up in the tree under the VSTi, but again, I don’t see it there with HSSE.

Am I correct that HSSE cannot automate controls like Filter Cutoff? Or did I do something wrong?

If I am correct, will controls like Filter Cutoff show up under the VSTi ‘tree’ in the Cubase project window?



This is a confusing subject and it took me a while to get it. MIDI controller automation data can be recorded in two places. Either in the MIDI part, as controller data, or on the track, as automation data.
Where it goes is determined by the setting in the dialog box at MIDI -> CC Automation Setup…
If you assign a MIDI CC to the cutoff and then record, it is most likely recorded within the MIDI part as controller data. You could select the part, then use MIDI -> Function -> Extract MIDI Automation to get it into the track as automation data (i.e. in a lane vice in the MIDI part).
I strongly recommend reading the section in the manual on page 299 (C7 Ops Manual) titled, “MIDI Controller Automation”.
I did test, and I was able to record filter cutoff in both HALion 5 and HALion Sonic SE using all of the methods discussed (i.e. as controller data, CC automation data, and through a Quick Control).

In the scenario you describe, after recording while moving the MIDI controller knob (and thus the cutoff), open the MIDI part and at the bottom where the controller lanes are select the CC you assigned to the cutoff. I am betting there will be data there. Extract that data to Automation (as described above) and then open the automation lane for that track and then select “Show all used automation”. I believe you should see the data there.


Thank you. I am very grateful. That’s the kind of thoughtful reply I haven’t seen here in ages.

This stuff -is- confusing. I figured out why it wasn’t working.

It turns out that, after you assign the control to MIDI Learn, you have to record a new MIDI Event and twiddle the knob. It can be an empty event (just controller data)–like pitch bend. It’s not ‘automation’ per se.

The complexity is where I sometimes get lost. controller data, MIDI automation, VSTi automation. There are like 5 things to keep track of. And that assumes I use the same MIDI Learn controller CC# every time.

I hope, in the future, all this can be consolidated somehow.



not in front of Cubase right now, but there are functions or preferences to convert midi controller data to track automation (and vice versa im not sure though) cuz this multiple data do the same “job” and it can confuses not only the user but also the program.