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Steinberg HALion 4.5 Review

Wazzup Dawfreaks…
Hope life is fine and the music production is blooming.
Today we are going to have a look at Steinbergs virtual sampler HALion 4.5

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Introduction to Steinberg and HALion 4

About Steinberg
Steinberg has been providing award-winning, technologically advanced music and media production products for musicians and producers of music, video and film since 1984. Today, Steinberg is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of audio software and hardware, with more than 1.5 million users worldwide. Steinberg also provides business customers with license management and copy protection systems. The Steinberg range of products has long since found world renown in all aspects of modern digital audio processing, and form the backbone of facilities specializing in music composition and production, mastering, restoration, broadcast, sound design, audio post for the film industry among many others.                                        Source

Steinbergs words about HALion 4

Since the first version of HALion in 2001 Steinberg set the standard for virtual samplers time and again. By introducing HALion 4 Steinberg continues with its tradition of excellence, reinventing the acclaimed HALion technology while preserving the outstanding HALion sound. Based on the completely newly developed HALion 4 engine, an array of new features and innovations have been added to make HALion 4 the most powerful and comprehensive yet ultra-flexible and user-friendly VST sampler and sound creation system ever.                                                                      Source

 

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HALion 4.5
Halion set

HALion 4.5 is a Multi channel, Multi-Timbral VST 3.5 sampler instrument, The installation of HALion 4.5 is a two DVD installation, you get a 15-gig sound library with 1,600 factory presets. If you are a Cubase user and have HALion Sonic SE installed, HALion 4.5 will recognize and ad them for you to use inside HALion 4.5.

The HALion 4.5 GUI
Being a Cubase user for many years I have found that Steinberg makes nice GUI´s and always manages to make the layout of their software and plugins easy to understand.
HALion 4.5 comes with a great looking GUI with a lot of deep tweaking features, lets go through some of the main features of the HALion 4.5 GUI.

 

top
On the top of HALion 4.5 we find the Plugin section, program slot section, Master section, and performance toolbar.

toolbar
Below that is the toolbar, here we can load multi channel programs, switch things like insert and sends on and of, activate ram saving mode and undo / redo last commands.

 

 

Slot rackOn the Left side we find the Slot rack, This is where all your loaded program will be shown and each program can have its own dedicated midi channel.

 

 

 

A great thing with Multi channel samplers like HALion is that you can have more than one instrument getting the information from a specific MIDI track saving workspace, and allowing us to create our own sounds by using more instruments than one and the tweak the panning, volume, and effects.

HALion 4.5 can load up to 64 slots in the slot rack, and that is more than enough for most of us.

 

 

Each Slot will have a dedicated icon so you can se what sort of instrument is loaded.

 

 

 

mediabay

In the Center of HALion 4.5 we will by default find the MediaBAY, This is where we brows or search for the instrument we are looking for. we have Category, Sub Category, Style Character and below that we will se the results.

right

The right side of HALion 4. holds advanced program details and controls that I will not go into in this review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below that we find a program Table that shows the loaded programs and the amount of ram they use.
we also find a history tab that gives you history events for the changes done in HALion 4.5, NOTE that this resets every time you close your DAW.

 

 

 

 

image

The Bottom section of HALion 4.5 holds a PAD trigger section, Program specific controls and a Visual Keyboard.

 

Lets go a bit Deeper

We have now had a look at the main features of the HALion 4.5 GUI, but beneath the surface there is even more going on and here follows some of them.

Mixer

The Internal Mixer works like a normal DAW mixer, Steinberg included a nice set of useful plugins to use either on each individual channel or on busses.
Since HALion 4.5 is a Multi channel VSTI you can send up to 32 programs or busses to separate tracks in your DAW.

Edit

The Edit section is divided into six categories, Macro, Sound, Zone, MIDI Mod, Mapping and Sample. From here you can tweak the the sound of each program in many different ways.

keyswitch 

One of the cool features in HALion 4.5 is the Key switch feature, in this image I have a Bass guitar program loaded that has different sounds within the program. If I press C 0 I will trigger the Semi hammer sound, if I then press D 0 I will change to Semi pull of.
This will allow me to Program a Bass track to sound extremely realistic.
These key switching controlles can be adjusted with the MEGA Trig feature that you can se beneath Key switch C-2 in the image above.

 

Working with HALion 4.5
HALion 4.5 is a most impressive Sampler, now I have to admit I have not gone through all the features in depth but many of us don’t do that, we just want it to work, sound good and allow us to get realistic sounding instruments from the sampler. HALion 4.5 has professional sounding samples, a huge amount of tweaking options and the included plugins sounds great. The Included Library is impressive and there is a huge verity of sounds included and no matter if your in to metal, classic music or HIP-HOP HALion is a great sampler to have.

For Cubase 5 and 6 users Halion 4.5 has more to give since it is a VST 3.5 instrument you can use VST expression in Cubase for even more great tweaking.

In my reviews I try to ad a Video to show you the software or VSTI in action, This video of HALion 4.5 is just a small sample demo to show you HALion 4.5 in action.

 

 

Conclusion
Steinberg has succeeded in delivering a great VSTI sampler, it is simple to understand yet extremely flexible with allot of tweaking options. The huge library leaves no one behind, and no matter what music you are in to HALion 4.5 is a great Sampler to have in your studio.
HALion 4.5 will work great with any DAW software that supports VST and will provide you with a lot of great sounding samples for your music production.

Cubase users gets a little bonus in HALion 4.5, VST 3.5 and VST expression opens up for allot of adjustments and tweaking, an example to this is that you do not need to load more programs to pan, set volume or other MIDI controls to one specific note or section on a track. Being able to use VST expression is on its own an amazing feature.

From the bottom of my heart I really recommend Steinbergs HALion 4.5 to anyone who needs a great sounding flexible VST sampler.

PROS

  • Huge amount of presets
  • great sounding
  • flexible
  • VST 3.5

Cons

  • none

The Verdict
Editors

“From the bottom of my heart I really recommend Steinbergs HALion 4.5 to anyone who needs a great sounding flexible VST sampler.”

 

I want to thank Steinberg for letting me do this review.

and to my readers…. THANK YOU!

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