Switching Halion SE to Halion Orchestra

Hi there,

I am new to Dorico and just wanted to see the quality of Halion Symphonic Orchestra sounds compared to Halion Sonic SE.
Halion Sonic SE automatically opens with the all the sample compositions like Pigmalio Suite in Rameau (orchestra arrangement) and designate proper instruments and proper key switching for that moment but when I went ahead and changed the VST Instrument from Halion Sonic SE to Halion Symphonic Orchestra, it looks like the previous designation is completely wiped. Can someone explain if there is a way to save Halion Sonic SE instrument designations for that piece and recall it in Symphonic Orchestra library to automatically populate the corresponding instruments? I thought since both these sample libraries are part of the default Dorico 2 Pro package that I downloaded, they would communicate with each other a bit more seamless. Is it not the case?!

Thank you.


HALion Sonic SE (aka HSSE) can also load and play all sounds of the HALion Symphonic Library (aka HSO) and it does it more efficiently than the player instrument of HSO.
The HSO player can only produce one sound at any given time, whereas HSSE can produce up to 16 sounds at the same time. In terms of memory and cpu cycles this is more efficient, that is why Dorcio always chooses HSSE as the default instrument to play HSO sounds. So it is best to stick to this.
The HSO player plug-in just ships with Dorico, because it is included in the standard HSO installer, but for Dorico it is actually not needed. HSSE does the same job and - as explained - even better.

Dorico will be using the HALion Symphonic Orchestra sounds anyway: if you want to hear the difference between HSO and the factory HSSE sounds, go to Play > Playback Template and choose ‘HSSE (Elements)’ as the playback template. Dorico won’t start loading different plug-ins, but different sounds will be loaded inside the HALion Sonic SE plug-in.

Thank you. That was very helpful! Is there a way (like what is used in Mac apps a lot) to go to Finder (in Mac, explorer in PC) from the loaded instrument dialog box to find out what sample is being used? I mean if there is a sample for default Sonic SE and a more extensive sample for Symphonic Orchestra, how do I verify which one is loaded?

Also I was trying to see what I need to do in order to set up another sample library to use for the selected instruments within a composition. I guess I need to choose those instruments (let’s say the default orchestral sample library of Kontakt) to have exactly the same sequence as ones for HSO (and use Kontakt combi ones for all the HSO combi instances (and then figure out the expression map assuming the downloaded Kontakt 4 expression map would suffice). Now what should I save to bring all these when I open Dorico composition? Would it save the Kontakt VST as it was instantiated or I need to save that sequence of instruments within the Kontakt VST and recall it separately?

What is called Template that brings all the corresponding instruments in HSO is sweet. Can I create a template to do the same for Kontakt libraries or other VST sample libraries? I’m trying to find a path of learning to minimize piece by piece loading and create a faster work around. Is there any video or videos that coach users through for streamlining 3rd party sample libraries? Would it get as automated as default HSO library or there is always some lack of performance for proper recall if I use 3rd party libraries?

It isn’t currently possible to create your own playback templates, and Dorico can’t automatically load sounds in Kontakt. We intend to make it possible to create playback templates in a future version so that you can manually set up Kontakt once and then use that configuration on multiple projects.

General rule is, if there is a sound for an instrument in HSO, then that gets chosen. If not, it falls back to the HSSE sound set.
You can see from which library a sound patch comes when going to the HSSE editor window, and in there choose the ‘Edit’ tab.
On the upper right side it shows in big the library from where it comes from.

Hi there, if I like to get a few 10GB size sample library, which one do you recommend that has better hand shaking with Dorico 2 and it works more seamlessly that has key switching for all the possible articulations. I am hoping there is a sample library that all the articulations are available with one instance of that instrument so I don’t have to allocate two or more score lines for each instrument although I’m not sure it is realistic because there are just so many variations of articulations especially for string instruments. For instance some sample libraries have an instance of instrument that have key switches for legato, staccato but then for crescendo and diminuendo key switching they are part of another sample combi. Also I don’t know how it works if there is a separate recording for each ppp, pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, fff, what is the relationship of Dorico 2 with the sample library to give direction to the sample library to pick the right sample or is it just doing it by using the same sample and just change the attenuation (which I would think it doesn’t make sense) because then we are waisting all these additional other samples recorded in different dynamics. I appreciate if you can respond in detail. Thanks a lot.

There aren’t currently any libraries that have this level of support in Dorico. We hope to improve the support for more articulations in future versions, but it will always be difficult to provide something that is seamless unless it’s a library that is hosted in HALion Sonic SE, or where sounds can be loaded by bank and program changes (eg as with NotePerformer) since there is no way for Dorico to load patches automatically in other plugins. We have plans to make it much easier to setup a project in detail and then re-use the configuration across other projects.

Thanks for your quick reply. So if I use Dorico with Halion (let’s say a bigger sample library like HSO or even bigger like Iconica Sections and Players that perhaps has more variety of articulations), is it possible to switch samples (program changes) within Dorico with notation commands? i.e. if crescendo belongs to a particular combi and staccato belongs to another particular combi.

For the time being I wouldn’t recommend Iconica with Dorico, because e.g. the string section patches really require at least two channels/slots in HALion to accommodate all of the available playing techniques, and it’s just not practical to work this way in Dorico with expression maps at the moment. However, as Paul says, we will improve the support for more articulations in future versions.