If I was to get Halion 6 does it work like Note Performer with Sibelius. Just plug and play?
No, not at this time at least (perhaps someday in the future)…
You’ll get lots of Factory Programs/Sounds, some materials to make new sounds with, and a really nice ‘design platform’ for developing your own sounds and libraries. HALion 6 also comes with the UI for Sonic 3.
HALion Sonic 3 = Advanced Rompler Style Plugin with lots of content you can modify internally to build even more new sounds, but less flexibility when it comes to importing your own samples and building synth engines from the ground up.
HALion 6 = Everything that comes with Sonic 3, plus all the tools required to build new content from the ground up. It also has no limits on the number of layers and such you can pile into a single Program/Sound, while Sonic 3 has a few more rules on such matters. HALion 6 also does a decent job of importing samples and such of various formats (such as Unprotected Kontakt nki archives, old AKAI and Roland Compact Disk images, etc.).
You’ll be able to access Halion Symphonic Orchestra from inside Sonic 3 or H6, as well as all the other content Halion that comes with Dorico, plus you’ll get all the Legacy HALion content (HALion 4 and 5), plus some new content:
Raven Grand Pianos
Eagle Grand Pianos
You’ll need to make expression maps in Dorico as your Score interpretation needs grow (and your knowledge of HALion Content).
If you’re looking for a quality set of ‘out of the box’ sounds for many different genera of music all rolled into one, Sonic 3/Halion 6 content is a good upgrade. Think of it kind of like getting a shiny new Yamaha MOTIF Keyboard and plugging it into Dorico.
If you want to build your own content from Scratch, Halion 6 is an excellent upgrade.
If you’re primarily looking for somewhat ‘plug and play’ upgrades in ‘Orchestral’ and or ‘Marching-Concert-Wind and Brass Band/Jazz Combo’ types of instruments, it’s probably not the plugin for you ‘at this time’. You might do better to explore plugins that specialize in these families of Acoustical Instruments, and gradually ‘supplement’ the included Halion Symphonic Orchestra as needed. I.E. Get some nice Solo String plugins, and use what came with Dorico for everything else. There are also Library options like Garritan (very affordable…lots of sounds, decent quality), but at this time, those will ALSO require a good bit of manual fiddling and custom expression map building in Dorico to get them working and translating scores well.
Dorico is so new, that Sound Engine people just haven’t had much time to release sounds and expression maps tweaked to take advantage of Dorico’s playback capabilities.
I think I might wait till someone makes it plug and playable!
Makes sense for now. Hopefully we’ll start to see some new Libraries for the HALion Engine in coming months with Dorico Users in mind, and it may well be that you can run those in the version of HALion that you already get included with Dorico.
Halion Symphonic Orchestra (Comes With Dorico) has a few weak areas in my opinion (Solo Strings), but over-all it’s a very good library. Keep an eye on this forum, as some of us plan to start working up some tutorial threads that’ll help you milk better sounds out of Dorico without having to purchase anything additionally.