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HALion Sonic 3 - 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.
Meet the HALion family
Tradition of excellence - Since the first version of HALion in 2001 Steinberg set the standard for virtual instruments time and again and continued with its tradition of excellence, acclaimed technology and outstanding sound. The HALion platform gradually took off and provided the framework and engine for all the other HALion outlets that are available today.
Design and execute - HALion and HALion Sonic are the core of the HALion universe. HALion provides all the powerful sound design tools, features and editors to create your own sounds, instrument libraries and even user interfaces. HALion Sonic however is a versatile and convenient music production workstation for musicians, producers and composers.
The Absolute advantage - With Absolute the full range of Steinberg’s VST instruments is combined in one comprehensive collection. Alongside HALion and HALion Sonic, the rest of the HALion platform family like Retrologue, Padshop, The Grand, Groove Agent and HALion Symphonic Orchestra are included.
- HALion 6 excels your creativity in all areas with ground-breaking new sound design features, next-generation wavetable synthesis, easy live-sampling tools and jaw-dropping new instruments.
- HALion Sonic 3 elevates your sound with a massive 25 GB library expansion including no less than six stunning new instruments and nine amazing new effects.
- Absolute - HALion is part of the Absolute VST Instrument Collection. Absolute combines thousands of sounds of Steinberg’s highly acclaimed virtual instruments in one box and all at a great price.
HALion — Create the future - HALion is the most comprehensive virtual sampling and sound design system available today and excels the present creative process for producers and sound designers in all areas. It covers the complete creative workflow from recording and sample editing to programming advanced synthesis and modulation setups. With HALion, create customized user interfaces and export ready-to-release instrument libraries with every step streamlined to the greatest extent. The powerful set of oscillators for seamless sample playback as well as the next-generation synthesis make HALion a versatile creative tool in simply every situation. Its broad library includes thousands of high-class and deep-sampled instruments and cutting-edge synthesizer sounds for all kinds of musical genres.
- State-of-the-art sampler and sound creation system tailored to the demands of professionals
- Advanced library creation tools including Macro Page Designer, drag-and-drop Library Creator and HALion scripting
- Powerful multi-timbral audio engine with disk-streaming sample playback, tone-wheel organ simulator and high-end virtual analog, granular and wavetable synthesis
- AudioWarp for cutting-edge time-stretching and pitch-shifting
- FlexPhraser module drives beats, arpeggios and complex tonal phrases
- Outstanding library including over 3,400 synthesized sounds and breathtakingly authentic acoustic instruments
- Flexible user interface with multi-monitor support allowing you to customize and save your own windows and screen sets
- Wide range of high-end audio effects, including REVerence convolution reverb, VST Amp simulation and many more
- Up to 192 kHz, 32 stereo outputs and 6-channel surround support
- Cross-platform compatibility: Windows (VST 3, VST 2, AAX) and macOS (VST 3, AU, AAX) plug-in and standalone support
What is new in HALion 6 and HALion Sonic 3 - The new generations of HALion and HALion Sonic are brimming with ground-breaking new tools and stunning new instruments tailored to the discerning needs of the modern composer, producer and sound designer. While the new sound design features are exclusively available in HALion 6, the new instruments libraries can be found in both HALion and HALion Sonic. Explore the highlights of the latest versions below and soak up first impressions by watching the short feature introduction videos.
- Next-generation wavetable synthesis - HALion ushers in the next generation of wavetable synthesis with an unprecedented consolidation of oscillators, envelopes and editing tools for yet unheard-of sound creations.
- Macro Page Designer - Create custom user interfaces with the what-you-see-is-what-you-get Macro Page Designer. The template-based tool lets you design complete user interfaces for your sound creations conveniently via drag and drop.
- HALion live-sampling - Record directly into HALion from any internal or external source and have your samples cut, mapped and ready to play in no time with the new live-sampling editor.
- The Raven Grand - The Raven Grand piano stands out with its compelling range of nuances, beautiful harmonic richness and a natural, precise and smooth playing feel that convinces instantly.
- The Eagle Grand - The Eagle Grand piano impresses with its rich, transparent and brilliant sound suited not just for traditional classical music, but also for modern pop, rock and jazz productions.
- Hot Brass - Hot Brass is a high-energy multi-sampled brass section library with a remarkably fat, tight and authentic sound. Best suited for contemporary pop, funk, reggae and soul productions.
- Studio Strings - Studio Strings delights with an out-of-the-box string ensemble sample library tailored to film scores, pop arrangements and live performances and combines great playability and vibrant sound.
- Anima - Anima features two wavetable oscillators, a flexible modulation section and the powerful arpeggiator, and comes with hundreds cutting-edge synth sounds for modern electronic productions.
- Skylab - Skylab combines granular synthesis with a vast sample library, filled with analog circuitry sounds and futuristic textures for deep electronic projects and thrilling cinematic scores.
- HALion Combi Library - The new Combi library uses HALion Sonic’s unique layer architecture by bringing together all kinds of acoustic instruments and synthesis patches to beautifully rich sounds and multifaceted new instrument creations.
- Effects - The innovative three-band Resonator allows formant-filtering for various tonal modifications for beautiful vocal, string and brass sounds. HALion Sonic additionally inherits 8 new effects from HALion including the Vintage Compressor, Tube Saturator and many more.
Expand Your Universe - More Than a Sampler
- More than a sampler - HALion combines the latest sampling and synthesis technology with streamlined content creation tools to provide a fully integrated sound design environment for creative professionals and enthusiasts alike. HALion offers a wide range of cutting-edge sound generators from granular, virtual analog and wavetable synthesis to ultra-authentic tone wheel organ and powerful sample playback. Build complex sample libraries on the fly, create cutting-edge synths and invent your own sound — all in one powerful instrument.
- Mix it inside - HALion includes a state-of-the-art mixing engine with powerful routing options for complete control over your signal flow. There are virtually no restrictions — create an unlimited number of buses per program and layer and freely route the signals as desired. Each bus holds controls for level, pan, mute and solo as well as eight insert slots. What’s more, HALion features a total of 32 stereo output channels and 6-channel surround support.
- Flexible user interface - HALion incorporates the most efficient and flexible user interface presented in a virtual instrument, allowing you to undock, move and resize windows, create function tabs and save entire screen sets — ideal for multi-monitor setups and perfect for keeping you focused.
- Live-sampling - HALion lets you sample sounds directly from your DAW, from any external source routed into HALion or internally from within HALion. The sample recording can be triggered manually, by threshold or MIDI events and thanks to the different automatic mapping modes your samples are ready to play in no time.
- Leave your acoustic fingerprint - From surgically precise EQing to ultra-expressive sound design tools: with over 60 first-rate effect processors, HALion offers a plethora of creative options. Highlights include the REVerence convolution reverb, the acclaimed VST Amp guitar rack and innovative Resonator filter.
- Sample oscillator - With each HALion generation the sample and editing capabilities in HALion have been advanced to the point where the complete workflow, today, is streamlined close to perfection. Powerful sample manipulation tools like AudioWarp for seamless pitch-shifting and real-time time-stretching open up undreamt-of possibilities. The convenient sample-editing tools and the perfectly integrated slice mode give you the opportunity to edit and transform your sounds directly in HALion. The advanced loop detection automation lets you turn your raw material into sophisticated instruments in next to no time.
- Next generation wavetable synthesis - With the next-generation wavetable synthesizer in HALion no questions remain unanswered. With two aliasing-free wavetable oscillators arranged in parallel, HALion introduces a powerful yet flexible new sound source for stunning re-synthesis and unheard-of sound creations. The new profound analysis features even let you get creative using your own sounds with ease. Wavetables are automatically extracted, envelopes directly implemented into the wavetables on the fly, the integrated pitch detection finds the right blocksizes with just a click and the graphical spectrum editor makes editing harmonics intuitive and comfortable.
- Granular synthesis - The granular oscillator in HALion raises the standard in terms of flexibility, musicality and sound. By breaking down samples into smallest bits and by playing back the grains in any order, the spectra of all kinds of sounds can be extracted to create stunning new sonic spheres. Each oscillator generates up to eight different grain streams, leading to impressively rich and spacious structures. The innovative feature set offers deep access to the core of the oscillator, supporting you with a fresh, flexible and great-sounding approach to creative and user-friendly granular synthesis.
- Virtual analog synthesis - Although designed with a classic setup, the virtual analog section in HALion is geared up with future-proof tools and technologies. Mix the three main oscillators, the sub oscillator, the ring modulation and the noise generator to create powerful cutting-edge sounds. With 16 different oscillator types including traditional waveforms and several algorithms like pulse width and cross modulation the sound of the synthesis can be shaped in various different directions. The highly CPU-efficient multi-oscillator mode allows you to create stunningly rich and wide sounds by multiplying, tuning and panning the voices of the three main oscillators.
- Organ oscillator - With nine drawbars for the organ and three for the percussion, the organ oscillator in HALion faithfully recreates the sound of the classic C3 drawbar organ. Combine two organ oscillators and create instruments with multiple manuals and bass pedals. Due to the sample-based approach of the simulation the organ oscillator in HALion not only sounds warmer, punchier and more authentic than organ simulations based on sine-oscillators but the organ oscillator in HALion also is way more performance-efficient than organ simulations of similar sample size.
- Filter section - The powerful filter section in HALion is an essential part of the sound shaping process and directly connected in series to each oscillator zone. Nine high-end filter types including classic filters, tube drive and bit reduction offer various possibilities to form your sound to the individual character your are looking for. Different filter modes, 24 filter shapes and the x/y control give you a broad tool set for enhancing your sound.
A creative tradition
- Creativity from the get-go - HALion supports you from the earliest stage of your instrument production, from creating and mapping your sounds to exporting your final instrument with Macro Page and presets. The many workflow-optimized tools and features make the sound creation process easy and convenient.
- Macro Page Designer - Create your own custom user interfaces with the what-you-see-is-what-you-get Macro Page Designer. HALion brings the creation of instrument Macro Pages from the engineering level straight to the frontpage. Import a background, move any kind of controls from the template library on it and connect parameters from your programs to the Macro Pages via drag and drop. Use your own custom control libraries or start with one of the several macro page style libraries that come with HALion. Your imagination is the only limit.
- HALion Script - Dive deeper into HALion than ever before with the help of the powerful scripting engine in HALion. Based on the most commonly used scripting language LUA, HALion Script is powerful, fast and easy to learn and multiplies the sound design opportunities time and again. Create your own script modules and implement them as regular MIDI modules in HALion. The comprehensive online documentation provides not only a full reference of the script, but also hundreds of examples and tutorials for the most common use cases.
- Library Creator - Create your own VST Sound archive with your samples, presets and Macro Pages and share your instruments with the world. The convenient Library Creator lets you combine your custom instrument assets via drag and drop and export VST Sound containers that can also be loaded in HALion Sonic and the free HALion Sonic SE.
Experience perfect synergy
- Complete integration - HALion effortlessly integrates into various VST applications, making excellent use of the advantages each tool has to offer. The seamless integration of HALion into Cubase and WaveLab and the Advanced Integration support for Steinberg hardware make HALion the premier VST sampler and sound creation system.
- More VST than ever before - HALion reasserts its claim as today’s most powerful VST sampler by supporting Steinberg’s latest Virtual Studio Technology version for full articulation and controller editing inside Cubase. VST Expression 2 makes working with instrument articulations as easy as it should be. Instead of handling all those MIDI controllers for switching articulations, it allows seamlessly integrated editing as well as full control over multiple articulations within the Key and Score Editors of Steinberg’s award-winning advanced music production system, Cubase.
- Start experimenting - The Quick Controls give you instant access to all your most important settings. Quick Controls can be set up for every program individually, layer and FX settings give you direct access at all times. Quick Controls can also be automated in your host application to recreate your creative moment and with unlimited Undo/Redo that’s featured in the integrated Undo History you can try out all the amazing modulation opportunities and always have the freedom to go back to earlier sounds.
Developed for professional aspirations
- A proven system - Steinberg’s ability to pioneer advances in audio technology nowhere else is as apparent as in its HALion product family. As it is the flagship of Steinberg’s latest generation of sampling instruments, HALion has been engineered to offer not only the advanced features and pristine audio quality but also the stability and reliability that pros expect. The advanced sampling engine and powerful multi-timbral sound creation toolset in HALion is the result of decades expertise in audio software engineering.
- Quality content for sparkling results - HALion features a 30 GB sound library of the most painstakingly constructed libraries, including the complete sound collection of the acclaimed HALion Sonic workstation. Created by sound experts at Steinberg and Yamaha, the extended HALion library offers a smorgasbord of opportunities thanks to the many factory instruments and presets; the HALion library covers virtually every conceivable genre.
- Compatibility all the way - HALion supports all the major library and sampler formats. True backward compatibility to HALion versions 3, 4 and 5 preserves all sound and effect parameters in this latest version. Running in VST 3, AAX and AU plug-in hosts as well as cross-platform compatibility for 64-bit editions of Windows and macOS make HALion the perfect tool for audio designers and music producers using different machines and systems.
Instruments & Effects
- Produced by renowned sound designing experts - The sound library in HALion and HALion Sonic features thousands of programs and 30 GB of custom-recorded samples. The quality can only be described as opulent: created in cooperation with the team behind Yamaha’s MOTIF workstations, the content combines dynamic expressiveness with superb-sounding instruments and exclusive sounds.
- Multi-articulation instruments with VST Expression support - The extensive HALion and HALion Sonic library includes many acoustic instruments with multiple articulations, recreating dynamics and playing techniques such as legato, staccato and key release. With full support for the revolutionary VST Expression system, both instruments allow full and direct control over those articulations from within Cubase.
- Integrated MediaBay sound management - The integrated MediaBay sound management system makes it a breeze to organize and find samples, layers and presets. With HALion and HALion Sonic, the vast included library is immediately accessible for searching, browsing, categorizing and tagging. Instant searching by typing keywords puts the entire 30 GB large library at your fingertips in a nanosecond.
- VST Sound expandable - HALion and HALion Sonic both support expansion packs in Steinberg’s universal VST Sound format for even more creative options. Sound libraries from Steinberg and third-party manufacturers in VST Sound format can be directly accessed through the MediaBay, Steinberg’s ultra-fast media database.
- The Raven grand piano - The Raven grand piano stands out with its compelling range of nuances, beautiful harmonic richness and a natural, precise and smooth playing feel that instantly convinces.
- The Eagle grand piano - The Eagle grand piano impresses with its rich, transparent and brilliant sound suited not just for traditional classic, but also modern pop, rock and jazz productions.
- Hot Brass - Hot Brass is a high-energy multi-sampled brass section library with a remarkably fat, tight and authentic sound best-suited for contemporary pop, funk, reggae and soul productions.
- Studio Strings - Studio Strings delights with an out-of-the-box string ensemble sample library tailored for film scores, pop arrangements and live performances and combines great playability and vibrant sound.
- Anima - Anima features two wavetable oscillators, a flexible modulation section and the powerful arpeggiator and comes with hundreds cutting-edge synth sounds for modern electronic productions.
- Skylab - Skylab combines granular synthesis with a vast sample library filled with analog circuitry sounds and futuristic textures for deep electronic projects and thrilling cinematic scores.
- Trium - Housed within a sleek, ultra-modern interface, Trium is packed with features and options: this virtual analog synth has what it takes to become the centerpiece of your next production. Three multi-oscillators, additional sub, noise and ring oscillators, a great-sounding filter section and an powerful arp module mean that Trium is fully equipped and ready for action. An integrated modulation page puts all the most important sound-shaping parameters at your command, which is very handy considering that there’s so much functionality to explore within the compact interface.
- Auron - Auron expands the sound spectrum with 160 granular synthesis presets for floaty pads, intriguing textures and fascinating new timbres. Yet Auron also gives you the creative freedom to fritter away hours designing new soundscapes; the interface is easy to navigate, yet that simplicity belies the extent of the creative power available. With its arpeggiator module, Auron also lets you generate patterns and phrases from the synth signals. Auron is a one-stop sound generator with the potential to add captivating new sounds to your productions.
- Voltage - Inspired by the world-famous analog synthesizers from yesteryear, Voltage adds the sonic range and monstrous power of true vintage style bass and offers lead sounds that exude the character and warmth that has inspired several generations of electronic musicians and producers. Whether played in monophonic or polyphonic mode, Voltage’s two oscillators feature connectible pulse-width modulation and a broad selection of wave shapes to bring that VA feel to your sounds: you can almost hear those virtual circuits crackle.
- World Instruments - From West African balafons to Japanese shakuhachis, from Shona kalimbas to Turkish tamburs, there is a whole new world of instruments out there waiting to be discovered in the form of World Instruments. Widen your horizons with over 60 melodic instruments from all over the world, and try out the accompanying tuning options to get a feel for musical styles and instruments you might not have known before. If you’re looking to create dynamic and evocative soundscapes, try the fully fledged arp section for even more inspiration.
- World Percussion - World Percussion invites you to discover percussion instruments from all over the globe: try the ashiko from sub-Saharan Africa, an Irish bodhrán or the South Indian ghatam. Play one of the incredibly diverse drum and percussion kits included. There are kits that focus on specific countries, such as Brazil or Turkey, and ones that feature sets of specific instruments such as whistles and tubes. MIDI phrases can be imported and exported, while performance parameters such as groove and sound-shaping options give you even more creative options.
- HALiotron - HALiotron is a painstaking reconstruction of the analog technology that was behind the hallmark sound of some the greatest bands in music history. Pressing just one key on the HALiotron will instantly evoke a timeless sound associated with rock and pop bands and songs from the ’60s and ’70s, and which has seen a strong resurgence in the last few years. Yet HALiotron adds the many advantages of a digital music production environment, including filters, envelopes and an amp section.
- Model C - A staggeringly authentic yet eminently useful tone-wheel organ emulation, Model C has the power to beguile and inspire thanks to a signature sound that’s been variously described as “smoky”, “punchy” or “silky”.
- B-Box - B-Box is a classic step sequencer for beats and drum tracks: 16 steps, each with velocity control, and 13 instruments provide the tools for quick and easy beat production, while the integrated mixing section lets you tweak your sounds to perfection. Over 300 groove presets each with 6 patterns provide plenty of fodder should you need some inspiration. B-Box also offers integrated effects in the form of reverb and delay, while drag and drop of MIDI files allows easy transfer of patterns to Cubase.
- Resonator - The innovative three-band Resonator allows formant-filtering for various tonal modifications for beautiful vocal, string and brass sounds.
- Auto Filter - A next-generation sound-morphing machine, Auto Filter will take you on a journey through new soundscapes, driven by the LFO and Envelope Follower.
- Tape Saturator - Warm up digital samples and recordings with Tape Saturator, an emulation of analog gear that can make the difference between sounding good and sounding great.
- Ring Modulator - Ring Modulator creates new sonic worlds by multiplying two audio signals; its simple GUI belies the radically new sounds that are just a few clicks away.
- Envelope Shaper - A powerful and useful tool, Envelope Shaper manipulates the transients of signals offering variable attack gain and length, as well as release gain.
- Rotary - The reworked rotor speaker cabinet effect has very powerful editing capabilities such as independent Lo/Hi cabinet control, overdrive and amp-simulation as well as slow/fast/stop modes.
- GraphicEQ - This graphic equalizer comes with ten bands and features drawing of EQ curves, an invert parameter and three different response types. This EQ also provides a global range control to handle the overall amount of equalization.
- Limiter - This is a straightforward low-distortion limiter with auto-release. It puts a “hard ceiling” on any signal and is also suitable for the master stage.
- Expander - This is a classic expander which also features auto-release and “live” mode for low-latency use.
- Reverb - This is a highly adjustable reverb plug-in for creating realistic room ambience and reverb effects in stereo formats. From short room reflections to cavern-sized reverb, this plug-in delivers high-quality reverberation and definitive early reflections.
- Chorus - This is a single stage chorus effect.
- Flanger - This is a powerful flanger with tempo sync mode and lots of parameters waiting to be tweaked.
- Vibrato - This is a classic and custom vibrato effect with depth control, ideally for emulating the famous organ sounds.
- DJ-EQ - This is an easy-to-use three-band parametric equalizer that resembles the EQs found on typical DJ mixers.
- Brickwall Limiter - Brickwall Limiter ensures that the output level never exceeds a set limit.
- Tube Compressor - This versatile compressor with integrated tube-simulation allows you to achieve smooth and warm compression effects. The VU meter shows the amount of gain reduction.
- Frequency Shifter - This plug-in shifts each frequency of the input signal by a fixed amount
- VST Amp - VST Amp delivers fabulous guitar and bass tone, featuring stunningly authentic recreations of legendary amps and speaker models, mic types and positions.
- Wah Wah - A faithful emulation of the best wah pedals, this simple yet flexible effect features parameters for frequency range, filter width and gain range.
- Step Flanger- Step Flanger redefines the traditional flanger effect by adding a sample and hold section that subdivides the modulation signal into a definable number of steps.
- Vintage Ensemble - This is an inspirational new take on a classic ensemble-type chorus effect. Vintage Ensemble adds a shimmer and sparkle to guitars, keyboards and other instruments.
- Octaver - A highly creative effect useful for treating all manner of audio material, the Octaver adds signals one and two octaves below the input signal.
- StudioEQ - This powerful and versatile equalizer offers full four-band parametric control with variable response as well as analog-style peak filters.
- Compressor - This is a classic compressor with auto release, auto make-up gain, hard/soft knee and RMS/Peak.
- Gate - This is a flexible gate with independent attack, release and auto-release controls.
- Amplifier - This is a guitar amp and speaker simulation which features 14 amp and tube emulations and ten cabinet models to choose from. Additional controls resemble a classic guitar combo, also very useful on bass, organ, e-pianos and synth sounds!
- REVerence - REVerence is a high-end convolution reverb processor, being capable of emulating sweet-sounding studios, theaters, rooms, halls and more. With its true-stereo convolution technology, REVerence combines pure usability and a wealth of creative options with outstanding sonic properties.
- Tremolo - This is a classic tremolo effect with optional tempo sync, depth and phase controls.
- Phaser - This is a classic phaser with variable filter stage, phase modification and tempo sync.
- MultiDelay - MultiDelay is a powerful multi-stage delay effect with variable fi