Saving HALion Sonic SE Settings

This is probably a noob question, but I have spent several hours searching the Steinberg help and these forums, and experimenting within Cubase, but not come close to finding a solution.

I have HALion Sonic SE as an instrument. I am using the “Dynamic Mini” program.

This has its default sound, but I wish to modify this using the controllers—Cutoff, Distortion, Glide, etc, and the Modulation wheel (as indicated in the screenshot).

So I have the track playing in a loop and while listening carefully I spend several minutes twiddling the various knobs up and down until I get what I consider to be the best sound.

How do I then save this?

If I merely save the project, when I later reopen it, all the settings have returned to their default values.

I have investigated automation tracks, but they seem to be about making changes as the music progresses, which is not what I want to do on this occasion. And if I have Write Automation enabled whilst doing my knob twiddling then all the changes are fixed to a particular moment in the music and after the first pass through the loop they are not recorded anyway. What I want is my final settings applied throughout.

I have also tried the Save Preset option within HALion Sonic. I’m not sure what this actually saves, but doesn’t seem to save these settings.

So, when I have finally got the sound I want, how do I save it so that when I reopen the project it’s there?

Save a user program.

To save an individual instrument/slot, right click it and choose save as, give it a name. From then on your user program can be loaded into HSSE instrument slots via its browser, or if you also use Cubase, from the Cubase Media Browser. You can also change/add meta data for your user program in the HSSE or Cubase media browsers.

User presets typically end up somewhere in your “Documents/VST Presets/HALion Sonic SE” directory.

You can also save the state of the entire plugin in a couple of ways.

  1. Click the little disk icon at the top of the instrument list to Save Multi-Program. This will save the entire state of Sonic SE in a native format.

  2. Most DAWs out there allow saving a program state in the form of an FXB file. This would save the entire state of the plugin.

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When a Cubase project is saved, it automatically saves the states of all plugins within that project. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to save a preset to keep your changes within the project.

It’s likely that automation data is resetting your changes when you reopen your project.

That said, saving a preset can give you better starting points for automation.

Just to avoid confusion, Cubase doesn’t use .FXP files at all for that. Cubase uses .vstpreset files which allow for deep integration with the MediaBay.


Perhaps Cubase uses vstpresets instead of FXB, but quite a few DAWs do have options to save complete plugin states in the FXB format. Looking at some in Sibelius right now (Yes, for HSSE, H6, GA5, and everything else I use in that host).

I have in use here multiple hosts. All of them on my rig but the steinberg ones can import/export fxb plugin states. Basically the same thing Cubase does with vstpreset when it comes to saving/restoring a complete plugin state using the DAW rather than the native stuff inside the plugin itself.

Thank you for the replies.

Yes, you are both right.

I hadn’t thought to try right-clicking instrument slots, but yes, I can then save it as a new, different instrument and that new instrument is then automatically loaded into that slot, as well being available to use in other slots or even other projects.

And yes, so it seems. I’m not sure why I thought that wasn’t happening before, but I’ve done some experimentation and that is the case.

One setting that isn’t saved, either when saving an individual program or when saving a project, is CC #1 (Modulation), but having to use a automation track for that with a single value set at the beginning is no big deal. I guess modulation is seen as being part of the performance rather than the instrument/program itself, which makes sense as it somewhat analogous to a violinist using vibrato.

Thanks again for your replies.