Spectral synth sampling question

As a Halion beginner, i’ve been mostly busy with the great fm zone. But yesterday i got curious about the Spectral synth. Probably a dumb question, but what kind of sample sources do you use? Thinking about copyright: Is it ok to resynthesize Halions own sampled instruments (like a piano etc) and use in your own music?


I am not a lawyer or copyright expert, but I think that‘s ok :+1::sunglasses:

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Hi @Deerek,

no dumb question at all.

If you legally acquired any software / audio content licenses by Steinberg, you can create any own (derivative) works by using Steinberg editing software (like Cubase, HALion, etc.) and related (commercial) content, without having to pay any additional royalties. You are also entitled to distribute those own creative audio works, freely or commercially. As a legal license holder, you already paid for any sound library licenses as determined by Steinberg (including products by some third parties who are Steinberg product partners).

Yet there’s one thing which you’re absolutely not allowed to do:
to take any samples from a commercial library and then declare those extracted samples as “yours”. You need to create something of your own, on the basis of such licensed samples.


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Good question.

So, he cant take any copyrighted commercial sample libraries and mix different sample, resample / resynthesis it to a unrecognisable format / new audio sample, then perhaps sell it ???.

I allways wanted to mix different commercial drum sample , to mix a new sample, example a mixed snare etc, but afraid they will sue me, so i wont do that.
The thing is, lot of people just dont have acess to quality drums , piano , samples, etc, but if you sample those instrument, and change the sound to a complety new sound, which is unrecognisable to the original sound, but still sound authentic, like a snare mix will sound like a snare, but just different compare to the original sound, then it should be ok ??.
Hope anyone can shed light on this matter.
I think sometimes, we are restricted in lot of ways,
every thing is copyrighted these days, you cant barely
touch anything or play with you bought software instrument without lots of restriction / limitations,
atleast thats how i feel.

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Thanks for the replies guys, good answers (and interesting discussion). I was only wondering cause Halion is such a big sonic playground. And the spectral zone is very good. But since i don’t have a real guitar or a piano at home, i started to think about what kind of sound sources that are ok to use. I was only thinking about using it for creativity, in my own music in that case.

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To make my last post clear, i am not saying “just sample halion 7 library, and share it / sell it”, thats illegal, what i am saying is, or to be more clear, asking
a question, “if it is possible to sample and mix different sound from commercial sample libraies, to
make a new remix of those sample, and maybe share it?!.

Heck, i could’nt even program a fan made mario game clone, without getting sued by nintendo,
i am to scared to do that.

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Hi @henrikmusic,

you’re correct (in so far), as sometimes it can be relatively difficult to determine whether a specific creative piece of work is based on another person’s creative work, and if there might be any legal collisions in terms of copyright laws, mostly an (existing or non-existing) right to distribute any copies of software, (digital) film, (digital) audio, (digital) art, (digital) text, etc.

Here some thoughts on how to determine if any creative work is being legally protected, or not:


A helpful term in this respect would be what - in German - is called “Schöpfungshöhe” / “Gestaltungshöhe”, or in English " threshold of originality".

If some derivative work (by, let’s say, a Steinberg customer in their studio) reaches or surpasses (more or less clearly) a measurable threshold of originality, then a new (creatively achieved) work of original art would’ve started to exist, like any legally protected work that was used as a basis to create another legit work of art (ART, to be understood in the widest sense of the word).

Example 1, photography:
Best example would be in artistic (as opposed to merely documentary) photography:
if a professional photographer creates a beautiful photography, and someone else wanted to use it for any personal purpose, either a user license would’ve to be purchased (e.g. by a journalist, book / TV author, company, institution), or there must be another legally valid reason to use it, like by plausibly referring to the Anglo-American fair use principle (which includes clear restrictions to educational, administrative or sometimes journalistic use cases, in those respective countries, and only there).

Another term in that respect - and especially relevant to EU copyright laws - would be the so-called “Leistungsschutzrecht” or, in English, the intellectual property right or ancillary copyright.
This would apply to many audio libraries, since the technical craftmanship behind sample recording and editing, to assemble a useable sample library etc. is also being protected under most copyright laws, although not to the same extent as a recorded musical perfomance.

Example 2, photography:
a famous portrait painting from 17th century may’ve already been in the public domain for centuries, yet a contemporary photographer is being asked by a museum to professionally document that same painting by using his craft (e.g. for making an art catalogue the museum may later sell to visitors, etc.). It would clearly be against most local copyright laws to upload such a piece of art photography - but explicitly not artistic photography - to one’s own website, or to WikiPedia and without proper authorisation - at least as long as the photographer’s technical photography is legally protected (there were quite a few serious disputes about this topic in the past).

(my 2 cts)


As stated by the Software EULA:

The samples of so-called Loops remain the property of the respective rights holder and are licensed by Steinberg to you only for use in the creation of a live or recorded performance that includes the licensed samples as part of a derivative musical work created by the licensed end user. This license includes the use of the samples, the modification of the samples and the marketing of the derivative musical work without infringing any rights of copyright collecting societies and/or the owners of copyrights in any samples. The samples may not be included, whether unmodified or as part of a derivative work, in any sample library product.

The “industry standard” for sample library usage is basically this:

Music, ambient tracks, jiggles: Sure!
PRIVATE libraries of modified samples: OK!
Sample libraries including modified samples, either sold or freely distributed: Please don’t!

That should be fine. If you think about it, that’s not very different from editing one of the Piano presets to use your own effects. You’re just being creative with the included content.


Ok, that’s sound fair enough.
That means , one can only modify the actual sample from a sample library and use it a music contents,
jingles, music covers, filmscores etc, i am ok with that.

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Hi @henrikmusic,

thanks for ignoring what I wrote. :sob:

yes and no, this is not necessarily always the case.
There’s not “just one rule” for all possible scenarios.

In every single case you need to make sure that you’ve read, understood and accepted a given license agreement (if there is one, that is), as issued by a specific sample lib (or VST instrument) producer.

Although @Romantique_Tp is of course absolutely correct, not all license agreements - by all those various producers of sample collections out there - are exactly the same. There are different categories of licenses usually granted to users of any sort of recorded audio material.

Many sample lib producers - like Steinberg - generously allow and encourage the modification of their samples, in a creative context and up to a certain extent. And if your own production is significantly more creative than just copying n’ pasting other people’s (or companies’) material (whichever license types there might be involved).
Some don’t allow modification at all (especially when re-mixing even the tiniest parts of a recorded music track “as a sample”).

One really needs to think before acting, every single time.
There isn’t “THE one higher authority” to tell you, once and for all.

Some more info, hope that helps:

Derivative work - Wikipedia


sorry, if I might’ve sounded a bit harsh or too “theoretic”.
I didn’t mean it in a negative way. :slight_smile:


No, i don’t ignore you at all, and you are absolut right,
i can’t just apply one rule execption, and thinking its ok to just sample this and that, i know that, different companies have different copyright rules, so its diffcult to know what you are allowed , what restriction there is, but to be honerstly i am not the person that, each time read a 3000 page of software license, what you can do with the software and what you cant do, like reverse engineering software,
force majeure, just kidding, i am just the person that close my eyes and blindfolded and starting to use the software😄, one thing , one might watch out for halion 7, alcohol page , i mean algo page, all those algorithm connection , make you dizzy, just joking.

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Hi @henrikmusic,

sorry… then I must’ve misunderstood your intentions at least a bit. :innocent: :wink:

Apart from that, I think I can relate to your sentiment, since modern software is often very complex, the same is true for all those specific rules of local and international law concerning the distribution of audio data, or any other copyrighted materials in the digital domain, etc.

So, in order to really get productive, one often has to learn quite a few things, including the necessity to have to go through lots of trial and error situations, lengthy & very detailed manuals, etc.

So, let’s try and keep up with things as good as we can!

Best wishes.


Thank you Markus, its not you, its is just me, reading
manuals, arghh, i hate reading to much, i just want to
play with my newly bought toy, ha, ha, no seriously, some musician is just like that.

Anyway, thank you for enlightenment, and shetting
light on this matter, regarding copyright rules, etc.

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