Samples in Halion 5 vs Halion Sonic SE 2

Hey Gang,
Can anyone tell me if the samples used in Halion 5 are the exact same ones used in Sonic SE 2?



As I understand it…having progressed from SE with CuBase 7.5, to CuBase 8 Pro, and then adding Halion 5 (and Groove Agent 4, but that’s a separate thing in terms of content and players).

The short answer is both yes, and no.
You retain all of the content from each version or level before, and more is added as you progress up the different levels of the Halion series.

You can see, tag, and manage ALL of the vstsound presets in the CuBase media browers (assuming you use CuBase as the host of course). With the right options set in the media browser, you can see what level or version of Halion a preset came with.

So it essentially works like this:

SE comes with CuBase (and Nuendo?), and only works inside CuBase. The base level of SE might come with different content packs or modules depending on your version of CuBase. Updates or Upgrades to CuBase itself might sometimes add more SE content. The SE player can NOT play content from Sonic 2 or H4/H5.

Sonic 2 can be installed and used with or without CuBase. It has extra content (both samples and presets) that is not in any variation of SE, and can play Sonic 2 or SE presets. While you can’t import your own waveforms into Sonic 2, you do get access to more parameters for editing and layering the included presets and layers from any of the SE or Sonic 2 presets. Sonic 2 does include quite a bit of new sample content, and it also has some presets that mix and match layers/samples from SE with totally new samples and layers.

H5 can also be installed and used with or without CuBase. It has some extra content (samples and patches both) that SE and Sonic 2 does NOT have, and can also Play SE and Sonic 2 content. H5 also still includes a good deal of content from H4, and so on. Much of the ‘sample based’ content that comes with H5 is identical to what came with its H4 predecessor, where a slew of new H5 content was added that mostly features the newer synth, arpeggiator, organ, world instrument, and groove engines, that are new to H5.

Even if you have an H5 key, you can’t play the H4 and H5 content in the Sonic or SE players.

If you add something like Halion Symphonic Orchestra (HSO), Grand Pinao, etc. Some of these libraries might also be available in the Sonic 2 or H5 players, or optionally be accessed through its own plugin or stand alone player.

Much of the SE and Sonic 2, or extra content like HSO, has the samples ‘locked’ into a zone that you can NOT open, see, and edit with H5. Of course you can still drag these locked sample zones into new patches that you make, use them to build velocity layers or crossfade-s, add keyswitches or controllers, effects, Flexers, Trigger pads, etc. into the chain, and alter the top level or layer preset parameters (filters, amps, LFO, MIDI mod, etc.) , but in these cases, you won’t be able take apart such layers to see or edit the actual samples. If you need to get to any of those locked-zone Sonic samples for deeper editing via H5, then you’d have to resample in the DAW, and pull that back into H5 into a fresh layer for further editing.

Most if not all of the H4 and H5 content is fully visible and editable in every respect, however, you might not be able to directly ‘export’ the samples from some of the H5 factory content (I.E. save it as a WAV), or include them in a vst multi-program sample container. You can however export a vstsound without the actual protected samples, so it shouldn’t be a major problem with archiving and/or moving that patch to other systems with H5 installed. The factory Halion 4/5 content is protected so you don’t accidentally overwrite it while working with H5. I’m pretty sure if you trim or do any other ‘destructive’ edits to any of the unlocked/editable factory samples…it’ll do it to a ‘renamed meta tag kind of thing’ rather than actually trimming and toasting your original factory content (much like a hardware Rompler would treat such an edit).

Of course you can import/export/edit your own samples at will, and pack them into multi vstsound preset containers.

In short, each upgrade to the next level simply adds more factory content, and offers more user editable parameters.

H5 is the only one that allows you to import your own waveforms, and edit everything about your own sounds from the ground up. H5 is also the only one that can PLAY any of your H5 custom made content.

H5 also gives you the tools to use more synth engines, and includes a robust set of arpeggiators, as well as a more flexible set of effects.

Now consider if you were to install H5 or Sonic 2 fresh on a system that does not have SE or Sonic anywhere on it (I.E. as a stand alone, or with some host other than CuBase):
In that case you should get ALL of the Halion content from all of the lower variations of Halion up through your highest variant installed.

Hope this helps some.