sound quality of Sonic SE

Hi - I’m looking for advice from someone with a lot more experience than I have on virtual instruments. I’m using Cubase Elements 6, and I use the virtual instruments (Halion Sonic SE for bass guitar and Groove Agent for drums) that came with Elements. (I’m recording folk-rock kind of music.) They don’t seem to sound that great, but maybe it’s just poor mixing, I don’t know. My question is, is the sound quality of those instruments poor? Or put another way, if I bought decent virtual instrument software, would I be getting noticeably better sound quality, or just more variety and features than I have now? I’d appreciate any opinions on this. Thanks.

I think you’ll find the major factor in sound quality is the actual analogue sound reproduction - i.e. the HW Interface and amplifier/speaker system. If these are crappy, even the best instrument (be it SW or HW synth) is going to sound crappy. The SW synths (HSSE and GA) are very good.

I wonder if the OP is referring to the DETAIL of the instruments? For example, a guitar sound on HSSE does not, of course, sound “good” to me because the level of detail is not there. I am referring to the number of different articulations, tones, etc. In other words, they don’t sound REAL. Like a drum roll that sounds like a “machine gun” effect because the instrument is not using several different samples in random order, etc.
If that is what the OP is referring to then I would say it is just a result of HSSE being an entry level instrument that covers a broad spectrum of instruments and doesn’t focus on one with extra detail.
If you want a high level of detail on, say, a guitar, bass, or strings, it may be necessary to buy a Kontakt instrument that focuses on a high level of detail.

If we are just talking about the SONIC quality of HSSE (i.e. the sound engine), personally, I think it sounds pretty good.


Also if you are looking for natural performance and a less midi sound… that takes a long long time to master.

The actual quality of sound, I agree, it is there.

It’s what you do with it!

Hi - thanks for the advice. I’ll listen to some demos, but I guess my best bet is to make better use of what I’ve got.

Hi -I think Jaslan has it right. I downloaded the free version of Kontakt 5 and noticed a considerable difference in bass guitar sample quality. It only includes three bass sounds, but the upright bass, for example, has a nice “bump” sound compared to the electronic drone of the Sonic Se acoustic bass. It’s also much more distinct in the mix. I haven’t been able to do a good side-by-side comparison of the drum kits, but the Kontakt 5 drums likewise seem a little more defined and refined than the Sonic SE drums. Thanks again.