Steinberg HALion Digital Sampler (Macintosh And Windows)

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VST software-based sampler.

HALion 3 is the latest version of Steinberg's award-winning software sampler. Over 50 new features in HALion 3 include 27 added effects, new sound management tools and RAMSave technology. The sleek new user interface and expanded routing functions add even more flexibility to the HALion experience.

Since its launch in 2001, HALion has been pushing back boundaries in virtual samplers. HALion 3 is no exception: over 50 new features ensure that HALion stays where it always has been: at the forefront of digital audio technology. This latest version expands existing HALion capabilities to new levels of accessibility and flexibility, creating a virtual sampler environment that not only lets your creativity flourish, but lets you work more productively and efficiently than ever before. Building on the outstanding surround-capable HALion 2.0 sampling engine with support for up to 32-bit floating point files, HALion 3 adds even more new capabilities. A new output routing system allows you to create and configure the audio outputs; only the outputs you need will be routed directly to the host VST mixer. The sleek new user interface is not only easy on the eyes but has been restructured to keep switching between the 3 different HALion views to a minimum.

New features in HALion 3
New file browser with drag and drop support, favorites system, sound categorization and database indexing. An impressive set of powerful new sound management tools gives you a clear overview over all your sound read more files. The intuitive sound categories system lets you group related sounds, making it easy to find them quickly!

Dazzling new Insert and Send Effects section. Twenty-seven quality effects encompass just about any effect requirement. They can be applied to individual samples, sample groups or entire programs. Effect sends can be sent to HALion's internal FX section or even directly to the VST mixer to share plug-in resources between the host and HALion.

HALion 3 now offers RAMSave, a new feature created to keep in check the RAM resources needed by even the most extensive sample instruments, resulting in low RAM usage and faster project load and save times; a boon for pro users using large, intricate sampled instruments such as big orchestral patches or large drum kits.

Alternate mode -- adds a range of functions, including playing a different sample with each new Note On message, introducing more spontaneity and feeling, especially useful for realistic drum-sounds or string bow up/down action.

Even more file formats -- HALion 3 adds support for Kurzweil and Kontakt sounds as well as for the Zero-X BeatCreator and BeatQuantizer Groove-Slice formats. You can find a 15 day limited Demo version of ZeroX BeatQuantizer in the 3rd party Demo folder on the DVD.

Sleek and clean user interface -- HALion explains its intuitive GUI with the new and improved ToolTip Help. Presets let you recall frequently used settings for envelopes, modulations and FX. Many views can be opened in separate windows.

-- Up to 32 Bit / 384 kHz file support

-- 256 voices per instance, several instances loadable simultaneously

-- 16-way multi-timbral with an individual editor for program selection

-- 128 programs per instance, unlimited layers per program

-- Full individual parameter set for each sample if required, ideal for drum sounds

-- Notch/High Pass/Low Pass/Band Pass 12 dB and 24 dB filters as well as fantastic sounding Waldorf filters, and Fatness function for overdrive filter sounds

-- 2 synchronize-able envelopes with up to 32 freely editable points, intuitive handling

-- 32-stage STEP envelope as free modulation source and 2 LFOs, syncnronizable to the host application

-- Keyzone Editor for quick mapping of keyzones, samples, sample layers and velocity values with drag'n'drop support and several automapping modes

-- Up to 256 freely configurable outputs per instance

-- Reverb, Phaser, Talkbox, Delays, EQs, BitCrusher, AutoWahWah and much more (27 effects total)

-- Insert effects can be applied to individual samples, sample groups or entire programs

-- Effects sends can be sent to the HALion internal Send effects or directly to the VST mixer through configurable outputs to share plug-in resources between the Host and HALion

-- Integrated Waveloop Editor with crossfade, snap to zero, loop, release loop, loop tuning settings

-- Total recall: all samples are saved with your song, including the respective settings

-- Sample-accurate timing and automation thanks to perfect VST integration

-- Archive function, transfer of entire projects to other computers with zero hassle

-- RAMSave technology offers lower RAM needs, speeding project loading and saving

-- Import formats: AKAI, E-MU, Roland, Kurzweil, GIGA, Kontakt, EXS24, SF2, LM4, LM4 MkII, REX, ZeroX BeatCreator, WAV, AIF, SD II (Mac only), ISO & Nero Disc Image, Toast CD-Image

-- Supports VST, DXi and AU formats
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The minimum system requirements state the minimal specification your computer must have to be able to use the software. A more powerful system may be required for certain tasks or larger projects.

* Supported operating systems: Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6
* Power Mac G5 2 GHz minimum / Intel core Solo 1.5 GHz
* 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
* 4 GB free HD space for installation
* DVD drive required for installation
* CoreAudio compatible audio hardware
* USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key and USB port required**
* Internet connection required for license activation
* For using as plug-in or ReWire slave device, a VST2, AU (tested in Logic 7.2 and Digital Performer 4.6 only) or ReWire compatible host is required.

* Supported operating systems: Windows XP (32-bit), Windows Vista* and Windows 7*
* Intel/AMD processor 1.6 GHz minimum
* 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
* 4 GB free HD space for installation
* DVD drive required for installation
* Windows MME compatible audio hardware (ASIO compatible audio hardware required for low-latency operation)
* USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key and USB port required**
* Internet connection required for license activation
* For using as plug-in or ReWire slave device, a VST2, DXi2 or ReWire compatible host is required.

* The included HALion 3 64-bit version natively supports the 64-bit versions of Vista and Windows 7.

** The USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key (USB copy protection device) required to run this product is not included. Customers who do not own a USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key must purchase one separately. The same USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key copy protection device is then used for all Steinberg products that require it.

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 844-358-4022

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 1 out of 5 stars. (82 ratings)
Submitted January 18, 2007 by a customer from

"HALion is NOT a sampler!"

Overall: 1 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
I have already replaced this product with Image-Line's DirectWave SAMPLER. It's a much better, much more complete product at 1/4 the price of HALion. It even sounds better too.

HALion sounds okay. It's a soundbank player, it sounds just like all the others.

HALion really falls short of its potential. You should HALion is not really a sampler! It can't sample, and it can't even do any kind of waveform editing. Its lack of sampling and waveform editing MIGHT be okay if the drag-and-drop functionality were really useful. But as it is, you cannot (for example) drag/drop a region from a Cubase audio part into a HALion sample slot. It's weird, but it's easier (!!) to do sampling on a rack-mount unit than it is to use HALion. Just remember: HALion is not a sampler, it is a SOUNDBANK PLAYER. Your wallet will thank you.

Ease of Use
It's fine as a "soundbank player". But if you want to create your own sounds, it's not a good choice. Have a look at Image-Line's DirectWave if you need full sampling capabilities from a soft-sampler.

Low marks here. I believe Steinberg intentionally misleads customers on this product. When I first got it I was amazed that not only does this "sampler" not sample, it can't even do TRIM! WOW! I figured they'd get around to releasing an update that dealt with these problems, but nothing. They're still read more misleading customers about this product. I've tried to get Steinberg to do something about this, without success.

This product is a complete joke. If you need it for sampling and you buy it you will feel like an idiot. At least I know I sure do.

Manufacturer Support
Steinberg is still misleading customers about this product. I've tried to get them to do something about it, without success.

The Wow Factor
Steinberg's slick marketing tricked me into buying this "non-sampling" sampler. If you need a soundbank player, great. If you want to record and create your own unique sounds, please don't make the same mistake I did.

Musical Background:
composer and producer

Musical Style:
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