Reviews Steinberg's premier VST workstation is a uniquely creative instrument that offers a plethora of synthesized and acoustic instruments within one compact, easy-to-use interface. Designed for studio musicians, composers and live performers alike, HALion Sonic 3 includes an extensive library and a full synth engine with over 3, patches and a range of features that offer fast and flexible control. Studio and stage With its ease-of-use, absolute stability and pristine audio quality HALion Sonic has been designed to excel in the studio as well as on stage. HALion Sonic is a true virtual workstation with 16 instrument slots, each loaded with presets that can be routed to the 16 stereo outs and saved as Multi presets for your next performance. Create keyboard splits and switch to the dedicated player view for live performances.
Modularity and customisation options can be overwhelming. Read more: This adds to the existing Synth analogue-style synthesis , Sample, Grain granular synthesis and Organ tonewheel emulation Zones with a remarkably capable wavetable and resynthesis engine. It comprises two wavetable oscillators each with up to eight unison voices in Multi-Oscillator mode and a sub oscillator, with each wavetable holding up to waveforms.
Importing a sample as a wavetable is done by dragging it into the interface and selecting a Marker Creation Mode to split it into a series of contiguous waves - Equal Distance all markers are evenly spaced , Exponential the spacing gets wider through the length of the sample , Spectral markers are placed according to spectral changes or Spectral Voiced spectral and pitch changes. Keys, strings and other things HALion 6 adds more than 25GB of new sample content in the shape of six scripted instruments.
Raven and Eagle sample classical Italian and German concert grand pianos respectively, the first with six velocity layers, the second Both share the same interface - including controls for adjusting the Sustain Resonance, velocity curve, and release layer volume - and sound lovely.
Raven is more obviously appropriate for pop and other contemporary styles, while Eagle suits jazz, classical and solo work. Hot Brass is a brass and saxophone ensemble instrument geared up for punchy, energetic riffs and stabs.
A decent array of matrix-assigned modulation sources and an arpeggiator make it more interesting than it looks. Studio Strings delivers quick and easy ensemble and solo orchestral strings for modern productions of all kinds. The wavetable envelope is shaped by dragging the boundary markers between waves to stretch and compress them, and general playback speed, crossfades between waves, looping behaviour and more are all adjustable.
Waveforms can be duplicated, moved, copied and replaced by new samples, and you can even get hands-on with the amplitude and phase of the harmonics of each waveform in the Spectrum tab. With your wavetable set up, the playhead progression through it is controlled by the Position, Speed and Direction knobs, and visualised in a 2D oscilloscope or 3D topographical map. The real thing With DAWs making recording and transfer of audio so easy, sampling - ie, the recording of samples - is something that hardly any soft samplers actually feel the need to do.
With its new Sample Recorder, though, HALion 6 aims to bring back real sampling, enabling multisampled instruments to be created from scratch almost effortlessly. The Sample Recorder captures anything your DAW or, in standalone mode, audio interface can throw at it via its sidechain input - live audio, other virtual instruments, mixer outputs, other HALion 6 Layers When recording stops, the samples are mapped across the keyboard - chromatically, as played, to white keys only, etc - with the gaps in between filled or not, as you choose.
Auto Trim snaps start and end points to zero crossings or silence boundaries, while Auto Gain non- destructively sets the gain to peak at 0dB. By keeping it simple and speedy, Steinberg has made Sample Recorder a potentially go-to system for quickly cooking up multisampled instruments and resampling from the host DAW.
Grand designs HALion 6 offers all the tools required to make and export LUA scripted instruments for use with it and its playback-only little brother, HALion Sonic 3, hopefully heralding the start of a Kontakt-style soundware marketplace into which developers can launch their own graphically rich custom libraries like those that come with the software. And at the other end of the complexity scale, the Library Creator is on hand for exporting VST Sound Libraries containing samples, presets, macro pages, etc to any Steinberg MediaBay-compatible software.
With its wavetable synthesis engine, real-time sampling functionality and easy script editing, HALion 6 is dizzying in its versatility, customisation and open-endedness. The best of MusicRadar in your inbox Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials No spam, we promise.
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