Steinberg HALion

Steinberg HALion Image
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Steinberg HALion Image is a top of the line 32-bit software VST-Sampler for Mac/PC. It integrates an affordable, fully programmable digital sampler with your VST host applications. Because of this, HALion is a sampler with almost no limits! You get up to 256 voices of polyphony and 16 MIDI channel multitimbrality! HALion loads WAV, AIFF, Akai, E-mu, Soundfonts, ReCycle's REX, and LM 4/9 sample formats. You can load samples (it ships with tons to get you started) but you can not record your own samples directly (you can record sounds into your computer by other means, and store it as AIFF or WAV to load into HALion). Sample memory is limited only by your computer's hard drives! HALion plays samples by loading only the attack into RAM and streaming the rest from disk. This gives a lightning fast initial response and allows for more samples to be loaded into memory at any time.

HALion has everything you'd expect from any hardware sampler and more. There is course/fine tuning, octave, glides, LFOs, sample quality, and a scrollable virtual keyboard. It has 12/24 dB filters which include notch, high, low, and band pass with resonance. Yet, even with the added Fatness switch, the filters are not really all that fat...but they do alright. There are two 8-stage envelope generators for very dynamic samples...great for textures, ambiences, pads and effects! Modulation possibilities are pretty good. There are 12 modulation sources including LFO1, LFO2, velocity, pitch wheel, mod wheel, aftertouch, 4 assignable MIDI controllers and more. These can be assigned to control the filter cut-off, resonance, volume, pan, pitch, and more.

Steinberg HALion Image

HALion is simply great! You may find using your computer to edit samples is much better than your old hardware Akai or E-mu. Drag and drop samples across the keys as you wish and edit away! Easily set key zones, layer samples onto the same keys and use HALion's velocity cross-fading so that the harder you play a key, the more the other sample layer is heard! Easily set the start and end points of a sample, define loop points and more. Store any number of samples into a Program, up to 128 Programs can be stored in a Bank. Each program can be assigned to a MIDI channel (1-16) and to any of the 12 virtual outputs. Programs can be saved within your sequences for instant accessibility! No more messing around with loading disks into your old hardware samplers! In this age of VST and software synthesis, it's nice to see a widely compatible, user friendly, feature rich, and pro-quality sampler hit the market.

HALion String Edition from Steinberg/Wizoo features sections of 8 double basses, 10 cellos, 12 violas and 16 violins, with full control over articulations such as crescendo, bowing or portamento. Each section is provided in two versions you can combine freely with other sections. Fantastic playing feel and a sound character suited to any musical style from classical to contemporary.

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Demos & Media

Audio Clip 1 A very groovy demo featuring HALion making a hard pumping house track with distorted synth samples and phatt beats!


Polyphony - Up to 256 voices (100 voices for each group, depending upon processor speed and RAM available). 16 Midi channels (full VST integration, sample accurate timing),
Sample Formats - 32-bit (AIFF, WAV, Akai, E-mu, SF2, LM-4/9, ReCycle REX)
LFO - 2 LFOs with 10 waveforms each (sine, tri, pulse, sawtooth, saw pulse, pulse 15, pulse 30, sine complex, long, positive, long negative), syncable to sequence tempo, up to 3 seconds Delay
Filter - Notch / HiPass /Lowpass / BandPass / 12dB / 24dB Filter with fatness function
Envelopes - 2 envelopes with up to 8 edit points
Effects - No built-in multi-effects
Memory - 128 programs
Macintosh - PPC 603e/266 MHz, 128MB RAM, OS 9.1, VST-Host app.
Windows/PC - Pentium II/266 MHz, 128MB RAM, Windows 95/98/NT, MME- or ASIO-compliant sound card, VST host app.
Date Produced - 2001


Images from Steinberg.