Testing the tone of a new instrument BEFORE adding it to project?

I’m new to writing music with a whole orchestra of available instruments! Many have sounds I’m not familiar with, so I often find myself having to test them to find which is most suitable.

I currently do this by adding a ridiculous number of instruments to my project, and then going through (process of elimination) until I find the one I like best. This takes a lot of time.

Is there a faster way to test out the sounds of the different instruments? (For instance, hear their sound directly in the “Add Instrument” menus in Setup mode, by hovering over them?)

Thanks for any tips you can provide- I’d be grateful to save some time as I’m learning about this!

Not exactly, but you can easily change an instrument to a different instrument after you’ve added it and played around a bit.

Add an instrument, write a line for it and play it back, and change the instrument if you want a different timbre.

If you’re using the default sound library, you can just load in any instrument to the HALion VST.

…then using the user interface keyboard and play it to hear the sound (and modify it)… :slight_smile:

Following up on the previous 2 posts, when the Load tab is open in HALion, many similar sounds will be available in the window so you can select different sounds and play them on the keyboard at the bottom to compare.

The settings in the Edit tab and the knobs at the bottom (which can vary depending on sound loaded) can have a large effect on the sound too. If you are using sounds other than the default, many VST instruments have standalone players so you can test out sounds without Dorico even open.

by definition, you can’t audition an instrument unless it’s already loaded into memory! That doesn’t mean you have to load it into your project, though. For trying out instruments, you should simply try them out in the player interface supplied which is nearly always possible, including in Halion, as FredGUnn has just demonstrated. This way you can test all the articulations as well.

Quite often, there are also standalone versions of the players so you don’t even need to start up Dorico for the initial research.

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Thanks for all the tips!

I’ll spend some time learning how to navigate around in the Halion Sonic VST interface and find some sounds I like! :slight_smile: