1. What is Steinberg HALion?
2. How do I create an instrument in HALion?
3. Why does the sound not change when I select a different instrument in the preset list?
4. How can I export a HALion bank with the wavs for archiving?
5. What is megatrigg and how do I use it?
6. Why does HALion playback stop with in an error message?
7. How do I import a HALion instrument from a bank into the current bank?
8. How do I audition a wav before loading it into HALion?
9. How do I import Soundfonts\Akai into HALion?
10. When I mixdown my song in cubase, why do the HALion parts sound grainy?
11. What are all the HALion modulation boxes for on the Mod\Tune page?
12. I imported an Akai disk but I only have a limited polyphony, what’s the cause?
HALion is a software sampler primarily for use in Steinberg sequencing software. It has the ability to map wav files to a keyboard for use as an instrument. HALion does not work well in other sequencers because it relies on the host for loading and saving instrument files. One thing that stands out about HALion is that it is 16 channel multi-timbral, which means that you can use 16 different instruments at one time, each one using a unique midi channel. If this isn’t enough you can also open another instance to get another 16 as long as your processor can handle it.
To create a basic instrument in HALion, go to the keyzone page, right click (or MAC key\CTRL and click) on the keyboard which will select the root note that the sample will be tuned\assigned to, then right click on the keyzone area to bring up the context menu and select load sample. This assigns the sample to one note, you can then either drag the sample to the desired note on the keyboard, or select it and use the red tabs to stretch the range across the whole keyboard or the desired area.
3. Why does the sound not change when I select a
different instrument in the preset list? top
This can be very confusing. Because HALion is multi-timbral you can only play the voice which your midi keyboard is assigned to in the arrange window of cubase\Nuendo, ie; halion (v1) 01, which means that it is assigned to halion midi channel 1. For examples sake lets assume that this is true and you have a bank of 16 instruments loaded, and channel 1 is set to preset 1. If you now click on instrument 2 in the preset list instead of changing channel 1 to instrument 2, HALion will look for the next available channel to assign instrument 2 to, which lets say is channel 2. This then becomes the focus of all editing within HALion, and you will notice that the channel box at the bottom has changed to channel 2. So now when you play your keyboard it is still playing midi channel 1 even though HALion is editing the instrument loaded into channel 2. To play this you would now have to go back to the arrange page and assign and select a midi channel to halion (v1) 02 to play this instrument. I hope that’s clear. The best way to understand this is to use the Chan\Prog page to assign your sounds until you understand what is happening.
Currently there is no way to do this from within HALion without looking through all samples used within the bank and moving them manually to an archive folder, and saving the bank to the same folder. This also means that you will have to relocate the samples next time you load the bank as HALion uses absolute paths to the samples. If this is a problem for you it may be better to change your working methods by putting your samples in your project directory before creating instruments. There is also a third party utility called Haliproj available at https://www.halion.co.uk which does exactly this for a small cost. I can’t comment on this utility however as I have not used it.
It is basically a way of assigning different sets of samples within the same instrument, which will only play when certain conditions exist which you specify. For example you could have a dry drumkit, and a reverb version of a drumkit in the same instrument and assign a controller such as the modulation wheel to decide which set will play at any given time in your project. I have not played with this feature much because I found that it makes cubase extremely unstable, but that’s probably unique to my situation 🙁
You are probably using a version of HALion which is older than v1.1 and you should upgrade. If you are using v1.1 and you still get this message you can try increasing the preload in RAM to always, and reducing the sample palayback quality in th options menu. If you do reduce the quality be sure to tick the box full quality during export.
In current versions of HALion it is the host which provides this features and at time of writing Cubase VST does not support it, however Cubase SX does. The only way around this is to load up the bank which has instruments you want, save them out, load the bank you are using and then load the instruments in to your desired preset loactions.
In current versions of HALion it is the host which provides this features and at time of writing Cubase VST does not support it, however Cubase SX does.
Go to the options page, and select import ext from the top left section. Then select a device from the top menu and either choose a cd or browse for folder for your chosen format. IMPORTANT this step requires you to select the folder which contains the samples, not to enter inside. This will then bring up the instruments in the next pane, selecting one of these will then show the instruments contained in the next pane, and then the samples contained within the selected instrument in the final pane. You then choose whether you want to load the programs, instruments, or just samples by using the appropriate import box at the base of each pane.
The most likely cause of this is that you have reduced the quality in the options quality box and forgotten to tick the full quality on export option.
This section is the most interesting part of HALion and is used to patch parameters to other parameters. The source box is used to select what will decide\control what happens, the amount is used a positive or negative value of how much the source will affect the final parameter, the destination. As an example of usage I will describe how to assign aftertouch to filter cutoff: Firstly choose Aftertouch in the source box, next select amount 5 in the amount box, move the slider fully to the left, and then select Filter Cutoff in the destination. Its that simple now when you play a sound the aftertouch will reduce the filter cutoff down to zero at its fullest. You can now change the source to any of the available sources. Using an LFO will create sweeps based on the LFO settings. A nice thing to play with is using both lfos, both set to cutoff, one set positive the other negative, the sync the lfos and play with the speeds to create some nice frequency arpeggiations.
If the notes are cutting off then you could try playing with the grouping settings on the modulation page. The instruments may be limited to a low amount of polyphony, try setting it to 16. If the sound is actually breaking up you could try increasing the ram allocation and\or reducing the playback quality on the options page. Make sure that the full quality on export option is ticked if you do the latter.