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Halion and Groove Agent - 50% off

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Does a competitive cross grade require one to disable the other product (e.g. Omnisphere) or does buyer just get the discount if he or she can show competitive license?

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2 minutes ago, synthmeister said:

Does a competitive cross grade require one to disable the other product (e.g. Omnisphere) or does buyer just get the discount if he or she can show competitive license?

I don't think that it requires License Surrender SM....just proof of ownership

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5 minutes ago, Sander Verstraten said:

Hmm Cubase 50% off up for next month? Missed it last year.

I hope it's upgrades....I want to get the .5 upgrade for 10...

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1 hour ago, cclarry said:

I hope it's upgrades....I want to get the .5 upgrade for 10...

Me too Larry!

I am tempted by the price to upgrade Halion Sonic 3 to Halion 6  though (£43 inc VAT).

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As the sale only goes for a few more days (ends 2/24), I decided to finally get a video up on the HALion FlexPhraser.  This is something I wanted to do for a long time, but it took me a long time to figure out how to pull it off technically.    This is my first video demonstrating software in a  DAW.  I hope to do more of them and get better at it.  

Reid

 

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2 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

As the sale only goes for a few more days (ends 2/24), I decided to finally get a video up on the HALion FlexPhraser.  This is something I wanted to do for a long time, but it took me a long time to figure out how to pull it off technically.    This is my first video demonstrating software in a  DAW.  I hope to do more of them and get better at it.  

Reid

 

Very interesting video, thanks Reid.

It turns out that one of the reasons I really like Halion Sonic 3 is the Flexphraser and I didn't even know it existed until I watched your video!
Those patches which use it just seem to have a lot going for them.  I have just never gotten around to scratching beneath the surface of HS3 but it seems a whole new world of sonic possibilities are there for the taking with the Flexphraser. That combo patch you made with three guitars is killer and I am now looking forward to making similar things. 

I also like your idea of selling Flexphraser expansions and wonder if you have put this to Steinberg?

You should definitely do some more videos btw!

Edited by ZincT

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I thought it was a new phaser plugin 🙂. In fact the correct name is FlexPraser.

Edited by Sergio

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15 hours ago, ZincT said:

Very interesting video, thanks Reid.

It turns out that one of the reasons I really like Halion Sonic 3 is the Flexphraser and I didn't even know it existed until I watched your video!
Those patches which use it just seem to have a lot going for them.  I have just never gotten around to scratching beneath the surface of HS3 but it seems a whole new world of sonic possibilities are there for the taking with the Flexphraser. That combo patch you made with three guitars is killer and I am now looking forward to making similar things. 

I also like your idea of selling Flexphraser expansions and wonder if you have put this to Steinberg?

You should definitely do some more videos btw!

Yeah, those FlexPhrase patches in Sonic are really great.  There's a lot more I could have said about using the FlexPhraser in the video but I forgot.  As it is, I think it's kind of long. That's what I have to learn. What to mention.  In a strange way I think I should have played more to show how cool it is, but when you're playing you're not explaining features.   What I'm hoping is that people will just go in there and just try various phrases from the menus and hear what they sound like with different instruments.  One thing that is cool is that some of them of them have empty spots--there could be a few beats of silence, followed by some notes.  Weird by itself but very interesting when you start layering different kinds of sounds.  Also instead of just layering up guitars or pianos, it can be fun to layer up a one-person band with guitars, a bass and drums.  A lot of this stuff you wouldn't actually use in a track but they are fun to play.  However, everything can be routed to different outs, so it is possible to do a more interesting mix in your DAW.  

I did talk to Greg Ondo from Yamaha/Steinberg when I was at IMSTA NY.   I really got the impression that the FlexPhraser was not of any interest to them over there.  They took everything that was created 19 years ago in the Motif and Montage and popped it in and called it a day.   And if something worked in the workstation and not in Cubase... too bad, we were lucky to get such a cool thing for free.  They do mention it as a feature on their site, but they've never promoted it, in my opinion.

My impression is that if HALion 7 ever comes along, it will have a ton of new instruments and synths.   Sampled instruments that Kontakt people will not be impressed with and synths that are excellent but few will use because... they come free with HALion!   They also seem to be trying to get third party companies to make instruments for HALion 6.  Good luck catching up with Kontakt, UVI, EastWest and Best Service!   That's a tall order.  

HALion is amazing, but when they sell it for peanuts they diminish its value, like Sonible and AIR do.  With the FlexPhraser they have technology that nobody else in the business has.  Technology that would be very desirable to the main market of musicians who can't play instruments (one-finger arrangements!) as well as still interesting to people who do know how to play piano and theory.  Definitely appealing to people who use loops, Toontrack, ujam, and some Sonuscore products.    I think those expansions could be sold to people who just own Cubase and have Sonic SE.    An even better product would be a FlexPhraser MIDI plugin that would work with any virtual instrument.   But I think they will continue to follow the strategy of more instruments, because, as their deep discounts suggest, it doesn't work. 

To do this video I had to learn how to use Cubase in OBS, set up the video to show the keyboard, how to record my voice separately, etc., but now I know this stuff, so doing another one should be a bit easier.  But still time-consuming  I'd like to do one on NADA and one on the NKS templates that come from Freelance Soundlabs. 

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3 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

Yeah, those FlexPhrase patches in Sonic are really great.  There's a lot more I could have said about using the FlexPhraser in the video but I forgot.  As it is, I think it's kind of long. That's what I have to learn. What to mention.  In a strange way I think I should have played more to show how cool it is, but when you're playing you're not explaining features.   What I'm hoping is that people will just go in there and just try various phrases from the menus and hear what they sound like with different instruments.  One thing that is cool is that some of them of them have empty spots--there could be a few beats of silence, followed by some notes.  Weird by itself but very interesting when you start layering different kinds of sounds.  Also instead of just layering up guitars or pianos, it can be fun to layer up a one-person band with guitars, a bass and drums.  A lot of this stuff you wouldn't actually use in a track but they are fun to play.  However, everything can be routed to different outs, so it is possible to do a more interesting mix in your DAW.  

I did talk to Greg Ondo from Yamaha/Steinberg when I was at IMSTA NY.   I really got the impression that the FlexPhraser was not of any interest to them over there.  They took everything that was created 19 years ago in the Motif and Montage and popped it in and called it a day.   And if something worked in the workstation and not in Cubase... too bad, we were lucky to get such a cool thing for free.  They do mention it as a feature on their site, but they've never promoted it, in my opinion.

My impression is that if HALion 7 ever comes along, it will have a ton of new instruments and synths.   Sampled instruments that Kontakt people will not be impressed with and synths that are excellent but few will use because... they come free with HALion!   They also seem to be trying to get third party companies to make instruments for HALion 6.  Good luck catching up with Kontakt, UVI, EastWest and Best Service!   That's a tall order.  

HALion is amazing, but when they sell it for peanuts they diminish its value, like Sonible and AIR do.  With the FlexPhraser they have technology that nobody else in the business has.  Technology that would be very desirable to the main market of musicians who can't play instruments (one-finger arrangements!) as well as still interesting to people who do know how to play piano and theory.  Definitely appealing to people who use loops, Toontrack, ujam, and some Sonuscore products.    I think those expansions could be sold to people who just own Cubase and have Sonic SE.    An even better product would be a FlexPhraser MIDI plugin that would work with any virtual instrument.   But I think they will continue to follow the strategy of more instruments, because, as their deep discounts suggest, it doesn't work. 

To do this video I had to learn how to use Cubase in OBS, set up the video to show the keyboard, how to record my voice separately, etc., but now I know this stuff, so doing another one should be a bit easier.  But still time-consuming  I'd like to do one on NADA and one on the NKS templates that come from Freelance Soundlabs. 

For me the video was about right as I own HS3 so I can always delve deeper myself. It was a revelation though to discover all of those FlexPhraser banks and the fact that they can be applied to any instrument!

I assume you own full Halion 6 and if so I wasn't sure what Flexphraser benefits there were compared to HS3.  For some reason in HS3 the editor tab is called FlexP which is probably why I never noticed it before.  Also the patches which use FlexPhraser have their FlexP tab set to inactive (Act not selected) so the whole FlexP part is ghosted out even though it is clearly using FlexPhraser. Confusing or what?! When you click on Act it then activates whichever Flexp patch is selected in the list.  For "One Finger Rocking 6 String", for example, the default Flexp patch sounds the same as your example but clicking on Act in the FlexP menu activates a completely different FlexP patch (Alternate 1 in my case). I'm not sure how I would know that it uses the "Rhythm 06" FlexP patch by default unless I had seen it in your video.

Thanks for the background information on how FlexPhraser came about. It's a shame that Steinberg don't seem interested in developing the whole FlexPhraser thing any further. As you say, I do think it's a tall order for them to catch up with Kontakt though which makes me think that they should instead be highlighting and developing the things that differentiate Halion from Kontakt such as FlexPhraser.  A missed opportunity IMHO.  Your idea of a FlexPhraser MIDI plugin would also be of interest just as I use the many different "generators" to help foster ideas.

Re screen recording...I spent quite a while last year trying to come up with a reliable way of recording DAW screen sessions. The biggest stumbling block was always that I use 44.1Khz/24bit by default and many of the screen recording stuff I tried didn't like that. I know that I could set it to 16 bit for screen recording but was hopeful that I could find a way without altering it. Voicemeeter seemed to be used by a lot of people but I could never get it to work how I wanted. So I got as far as installing OBS and watching a few videos on it which made me think that it seemed like the best way to go. I had also thought about using my DSLR and external mic (Zoom HS1) to record my voice/video separately and syncing them with the screen scrape video/audio afterwards (easy to do in DaVinci Resolve).

I would be interested to know how you have it set up though.

Something like this seems to be one possibility ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tezrMhmIE80

I also wondered whether the motherboard audio could be used as a separate audio interface but spent a while investigating down one particular "rabbit hole" after a Windows 10 update removed certain features (e.g. stereo mix) but never got it working again. 

 

Thanks,
ZT

 

Edited by ZincT

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On 2/14/2020 at 10:43 AM, ZincT said:

Me too Larry!

I am tempted by the price to upgrade Halion Sonic 3 to Halion 6  though (£43 inc VAT).

I'd like to do that too, ZT...might do it before this is over if I can come
up with the funds.  Tomorrow is the last day, so not looking good ATM.

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2 minutes ago, cclarry said:

I'd like to do that too, ZT...might do it before this is over if I can come
up with the funds.  Tomorrow is the last day, so not looking good ATM.

I am probably going to do it Larry. Will keep my fingers crossed for you! 

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@ZincT   As far as I know there's no advantage to using the FlexPhraser in HALion 6 rather than in Sonic.  The only difference is that there is a lot more sound content in HALion to use in your phrases.  As you noted, they work a little different, but I don't know if that matters.  

Many instruments in HALion that don't have arpeggios or patterns come with a FlexPhraser.  And then when you go to the Edit page and activate the FP, you get something that is probably a default FlexPhraser for that instrument.   One thing I don't think I mentioned is that if you use the pads to trigger the various FlexPhrasers, you need to make sure the pads are above the Flexphraser in the menu at the right.  And you have to assign each flexphraser variation to the pad you want. 

For recording, I use Voicemeeter.  I had to experiment with the settings. ASIO made a lot of noise, so I tried MIME which worked fine.  I don't even know what MIME is.  So that lets me record the DAW audio into OBS. 

For my audio I started by recording from my regular mic into Audacity and then matching them up.  That worked well, but I found it a hassle to speak into the mic while I was playing.   So I used the Saramonic  lav mic I have that records directly into my iPhone.  (It's half the price of the Sennheiser and it does the job)  I'm satisfied with the quality so that's what I'm going to use going forward.  One nice thing about it is that I can see the waveforms being recorded on my iPhone, so I know it's working. 

The video for the keyboard was a GoPro.  I used a backdrop pole, with tripods on both sides,  to mount it sturdily, overhead.    The GoPro has been a huge hassle because the battery keeps running out.  Next time I'm going to turn off the screen and WiFi and see if that helps.  I may be getting a webcam too.

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@Reid Rosefelt thanks for all of the information on your screen recording process. I will have to have another go at the whole thing! I will give Soundmeeter another go and see if I can get that working into OBS. One thing I did discover regarding motherboard audio which works great and saves messing about trying to reinstall Realtek HD Audio drivers was that although "Stereo Mix" is no longer available in Windows 10 you can use WASAPI to record "what you hear" at the speakers in Audacity.  There was also this discussion on ASIO Link Pro which I thought might be  useful but I am loathe to add anything into the ASIO process which might affect what is currently working stably.

I have now upgraded from HS3 to Halion 6 before the sale ends so my FlexPhraser settings look the same as yours  :) 

When you say that there's a lot more sound content in Halion were you comparing Halion 6 with Halion Sonic 3 SE as I thought the sample content was the same in Halion Sonic 3 (not SE) as Halion 6? 

This page compares the versions --> https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/halion_and_halion_sonic/product_comparison.html and as far as I can tell the sound content is the same in HS3 as in Halion 6 but the latter has 200 extra presets. Now I am wondering whether to re-download the ~30Gb (compressed) sound content again just in case it is different in Halion 6! By the way, do you know what/where those extra 200 presets are? 

Edited by ZincT

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I found this Youtube video comparing versions...

 

and also this information from the Steinberg forums (thanks to Romantique Tp)...

Halion 6:

-Includes the Halion Sonic plugin and all of its instruments.
-Adds 5.1 versions of the pipe organs, nylon guitar with more articulations, and a few more ethnic instruments.
-270 extra presets, mostly using the Halion Sonic samples to demonstrate the basics of the MegaTrig feature.
-Much, much deeper editing, and workflow optimized for building and editing complex instruments fast.
-FULL access to all synth engines: Sample, Virtual Analog, Granular, Organ, Wavetable, and in the future, FM.
-Much more flexible effects routing. It's possible to build an instrument where every note has its own insert and send effects.
-Advanced sample import and export functionality.
-Very advanced wavetable and sample editors, with automatic loop point detection and slicing.
-More flexible modulation through the use of multiple mono envelopes and LFOs, and MIDI scripting per layer.
-Extremely modular interface. Everything can be docked or undocked, made into a separate window or a tab, and you can save each window or the whole plugin interface as presets.
-Built-in Sample/Preset Library creator, and Macro Page builder with scripting support. You can make libraries for Halion, Halion Sonic and the free Halion Sonic SE.

Halion Sonic 3:

-Editing the stock presets is at about the same level as a hardware module like the JV-1080 or Yamaha Motif.
-Can load extremely complex instruments built with Halion 6, but several parameters can't be edited unless they're exposed by the macro page.
-Full access to the Virtual Analog synth engine. The Granular, Wavetable, and Organ engines are also available, but you're stuck with the editing options made available by their macro pages and quick controls, and you can only use the samples provided by the library's creator.
-Good enough if you only plan to use presets, or only make minor edits.
-Content almost completely different from the Halion Sonic SE included with Cubase.

Halion Sonic SE 3:

-Can load all libraries made for Halion Sonic, unless the library's creator decides to make it exclusive to Halion and Halion Sonic users.
-Can use the Halion synth engines if they're used by the library.
-Editing is limited to only what's made available by the macro page and quick controls. This includes the preset's insert effects and sends.
-You can only add effects to the Master output and the 4 Master sends. To process each instrument individually, you have to use one of the 16 outputs and route them to your DAW.
-The free version comes with no content, it's only a player for libraries made by the users and Steinberg.
-The version that comes with Cubase comes with almost completely different content compared to the full version. Each Cubase "tier" adds more instruments and samples.

 

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Your conversation in here got me intrigued about Hallion and just briefly looking online, there seems to be some mixed reviews (it sounds great, but installation issues etc...).

Is it a hassle to install/get it working? Did you guys have to spend a lot of time getting it to work (in CbB) or is it fairly simple to work with? 

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Sort of confusing...so can I use the version that comes with Cubase to upgrade
to Halion 6 for $50?

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29 minutes ago, Mesh said:

Your conversation in here got me intrigued about Hallion and just briefly looking online, there seems to be some mixed reviews (it sounds great, but installation issues etc...).

Is it a hassle to install/get it working? Did you guys have to spend a lot of time getting it to work (in CbB) or is it fairly simple to work with? 

It installs easily using the Steinberg Download Assistant Mesh. It's then a normal VSTi that appears in CbB and there's also a standalone version included. It's just because I have upgraded from the intermediate paid version (Halion Sonic 3) which includes pretty much the same sample set as Halion 6 that I am querying whether I need to download the sound libraries again.  It's easy enough to work with and unless you need to edit patches deeply you will probably find Halion Sonic 3 sufficient (when it's on sale).

24 minutes ago, cclarry said:

Sort of confusing...so can I use the version that comes with Cubase to upgrade
to Halion 6 for $50?

Unfortunately not Larry.  Cubase Pro comes with Halion Sonic 3 SE which is a much reduced version compared to Halion Sonic 3. The latter comes with almost the same content library as Halion 6 but lacks the editing (and other stuff listed above).  I purchased the upgrade to Halion Sonic 3 a while ago in a sale. I don't like Steinberg's naming convention though as when I talk about Halion Sonic 3 most people assume I mean the free version. They should have renamed Halion Sonic 3 to Halion 6 SE imho.

Edited by ZincT
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This whole thing is kind of stupid.  They offer no upgrade path for owners
of Cubase Pro to EITHER 6 or Sonic....pretty dumb...

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