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KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:33 am

Hi.

Halion / Halion Sonic in Cantabile

Thought I'd better open a new thread about this... I've found some stuff on YouTube now, actually for Halion 4 not Halion Sonic.

What's the main difference between the two versions?


First peeks:
Interesting with these demos is that it's just some noodeling and not polished stuff which gives imho a better impression of the stuff when just played straight away.


Woodwind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZAOJcxdk4U

String:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=055R9SkEwO4

Guitar/Pucked
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctVOd3vIqWk

Ethnic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhWlRC7JjlI

Organ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqhcW2ZZD14

Vocal Presets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToTkBCevOgk

Keyboard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_rNQK4IuDs

Piano
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1wYaLFlNM0
Last edited by TiUser on Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:00 pm

If you're not into sound design using your own samples, running mega orchestral libraries, audiowarping etc, then Halion 4 might be overkill.
If you want to play sounds and have some reasonable control over those sounds then Sonic might be enough.
I had developed a huge library from way back on previous versions of Halion so it made sense for me to get into Halion 4.

If I watched those videos and used that as my benchmark for buying Halion 4 I would never have bought it LOL.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:35 am

pinkcanaru wrote:If I watched those videos and used that as my benchmark for buying Halion 4 I would never have bought it LOL.


That's just what I could find right now.

I know these videos are just some noodling. Still being low level I could find some interesting hints in it. Usually sax sounds are horrible - but when not played virtuously and still sounding over avereage - thats remarkable. I also noticed quite some sax stuff in the sound list - again something remarkable, even HW modules do often not offer a lot and most is under average at best.

Interesting that you created an extensive sampling lib of your own...

Just another qestion - as I have read about loading times with Halion Sonic in the range of several seconds and could not understand that happening with a sampler that is able to stream directly from disk... maybe you can enlight me here first hand? ...probably you can explain how you use an SSD in that context. I'm considering getting probably a small one (64GB) to experiment with.

Another detail I am interested in: Can I select sounds in each midi channel via bank/program changes in Halion Sonic? I am not about the live performance list here but the total sound pool individually in each channel separately...
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:46 am

Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:33 am

BTW iS NB3 still inside Halion Sonic ?
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:36 am

I don't think so.
Hal 4 has the same library as Sonic.
Halion and Sonic have a synth engine and a sample playback architecture. I can't think of how they might find it useful to wrap an organ plugin inside them - especially as the dedicated organ plugins which are so easily available are so GOOD.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:38 pm

I'm asking because the old hypersonic seems having had NB3. BTW lately some Yamaha HW ships with steinberg stuff and NB3... I'm not asking because I need an organ plugin but it is interesting to know what Halion sonic contains.

However one key question is still open to me:
Can I select sounds in each midi channel via bank/program changes in Halion Sonic? I am not about the live performance list here but the total sound pool individually in each channel...

What happens when using multiple instances of the halion sonic plugin? Does each instance hold it's own sample pool or is that shared? I was impressed with linux sampler concept where there is a server managing teh sample playbeack and the vst instances are just clients to this server...
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:26 pm

Each channel can receive its own program change commands. Is that what you were asking?
In Halion 4 the program list is created by the user - all dependent upon which programs have been loaded.
With regard to the sample pool - each instantiation is independent. i.e.NOT shared.
When used in a Steinberg host, Halion 4 can receive 64 channels of MIDI. The chances are that two instantiations could provided the palette for a complete orchestral score - especially when one factors in key switching etc. This doesn't, of course, provide any advantage to a non steinberg host.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:09 am

pinkcanaru wrote:Each channel can receive its own program change commands. Is that what you were asking

...partly.

More precise: can I set sounds like I can with a hw soundmodule in channels. i.e. does every sound have it's own bank/program numbers? ...this without specifying any tables or lists?

For playback of styles it's very unconvenient to preload a sound set and then being forced to remap everything somehow in the first place...

Well, I've read that with version 1.5 there is GM support, which is a basic piece of that cake, but can I eat the superzized total cake the same way? :wink:


I would also be interested in how you use SSD to optimize sample streaming. Or do you preload samples to ram?
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:15 pm

Halion 4 allows a virtually unlimited number of programs to be loaded.
The first 128 slots correspond to program changes. There are no banks.
Programs which reside above 128 can be dragged and dropped into the 'slots' which can be played. i.e. for the 4 x 16 midi channels if using a capable host.
I don't know why they didn't provide for bank access, but the idea is that you can have that virtually unlimited program list and the programs that you would need to access for program changes should reside in the first 128.
The programs above 128 can have their samples preloaded up to the limit of your system.
With regard to SSD - it's no more than the fact your setups load in a fraction of the time of conventional HD - and the streaming is just so easy that you can use small preload buffers and have a TON of stuff ready to roll.

Remember that each Halion program could contain a ton of sub programs which can be accessed through controllers and other methods such as key switches.
You could, in theory, have every piano you own available within ONE program.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:11 am

Thanks for these details.

This sounds as it is a no go to what I imagine because Halion sonic does not behave like a traditional sound module. Yes - tons of options, but it follows the "show paradigm", not the "library approach".

To explain what I mean here:

Show paradigm is you set up very specialized combinations to play a set list of songs in a show almost sequentially. Ok, you may jump too if you have buttons to send the program numbers for the list directly, still it's limited to 128.

Library approach is the entertainer need when someone from the audience requests a certain song (or you remember one you played years ago and want to practise it again), you look that up in your library and perform that in any way, by playing a midi file, using a registration combination with style and solo sounds or just play it the traditional "stage piano" way.

The second is obviouly a challenge because over the years you might collect hundreds of songs and changing that is time consuming at best - to impossible at worst. Especially for an amateur with limited time this gets even more annoying because an ideal system should be able to replace soundmodule x with a newer one y with minimum effort. Needless to say that such a system does not exist yet - mainly because the simple things like bank/program are dumped too often and that each manufacturer wants to fence customers witin their product line. This seems to work extremely well with the entertainer keyboard lines of the big three Yamaha, Korg, Roland - in that order representing market acceptance.

As long as you use just one of the "hyper software modules" and maybe a bunch of VST for solo it might be manageable somehow, but there are aspects beyond.

To go into what am exploring with my own software stuff is managing an extended set of soundsources and automatic routing while making all apper like a single hyper instrument. It doesn'd matter for operation if you choose a sound form a 30 years old midi module (or even linking midi to an external host like cantabile), a software instrument or a soundfont (where I can provide internal sound generation support via a lib). It all works seamless (or it should...) - not just to play but also to revoice style and midi file sounds. Only main thing needed to activate a sound is a bank/program patch list (which can be often generated automatically) and an additional sound module number ( my "invention" so to say). Practically the devil is of course in detail and I don't think I will get this to a point it will satisfy me totally...

Imagine also that with my set library concept more optional content can be recalled, like score sheets, notes and the like - along with core music data like registration, registration bank, playback styles... all with ONE button while other stuff is still running, synced by certain criteria but all automatic and intuitive - at least that's where I want to end up. Devil is always in detail... try to open and display a pdf while any backing is going on without risking to spoil audio and get crackles... (one point is here Windows schedules more cpu cycles to a process opening a new or foremost hidden window...) The effort to come close to an acceptable behavior is tremendous - without inventing a new operating system... :P


Maybe it's clearer now why I am so picky and why sound quality is just one point to me - probably why I still think HW is a good addition to remove load from a PC based system.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:23 am

Running 4 Halions would give access to 512 patches accessible via patch change.
Assuming your cantabile library is sophisticated enough to call up dedicated patches for each song request, I'd be amazed if you couldn't cope with any eventuality.
KVRist
 
193 posts since 6 Dec, 2005

Postby pinkcanaru; Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:00 pm

Saw this in the Sonic manual
HALion Sonic comes with a special Multi Chain feature
which allows you to set up a list of 128 multis which you
can either step through manually or load by program
change. This feature is particularly useful when performing
live on stage. It allows you, for example, to setup up a list
of sounds that follows the order of their appearance during your performance.


That would be 128 x 16 patches.

Halion 4 doesn't have this feature - but it seems to me that if you lock a bank of essential 128 programs into as many Halions as you like (limited only by ram - but as I mentioned earlier, a modern laptop with a generous amount of ram aided by SSD which allows small preload buffers - should provide a VAST palette of sounds.

When you add into that equation the ability to load other instances with customized banks from disk, I'm struggling to see the limitation.

The thing about PDFs etc seems to be also a little anachronistic. A capable laptop running at a totally acceptable buffer of 128 should be able to withstand bumps in the road. No?
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:14 am

pinkcanaru wrote:Running 4 Halions would give access to 512 patches accessible via patch change.
Assuming your cantabile library is sophisticated enough to call up dedicated patches for each song request, I'd be amazed if you couldn't cope with any eventuality.


As samples and sound engine are not shared between VST instances this approach looks quite inefficient to me. I am amazaed that Linuxsamper can do share samples... Even the lib to play sf2 I'm using can do something similar - all streams share all samples regardless if preloaded or streamed. I am really puzzled that professional software seems to be quite behind.

True 512 patches are a lot for playing. Still it can be problematic for backing needs like midifile / style revoicing. This needs a more static yet extensive sound base. One aspect here is again the library idea and additionally that you are not on an island doing all by yourself but share backings or registrations with others. Maybe professionals or genuine bands don't want this which is understandable - but in the world of just playng for fun and covering songs sharing stuff is an invaluable time saver.

At the moment I can imagine Halion Sonic for two scenarios: first a high quality GM sound source, second a resource for a more or less limited set of solo sounds. It's different to a HW soundmodule where I can select all sounds in any channel anytime without preparing something to make the bank/program selection work.

BTW. I have another idea about sound selection (which is borrowed from arrangers again) where you have basic sounds and variations. Variations are a kind of live tweak during recall. To describe the idea imagine sounds like Farfisa Vox organ or B3 as sounds and the drawbar settings as "variation". When creating a new registration you just need to select a vox sound (or a vox sound registration with predefined variation). The variation parameters (like drawbar settings) can be tweaked live and different variations can be created "outside" the basic tone generator - hence without creating new "sound programs".

I know this sounds complicated but it makes soundmodules of any kind more "portable" to say. It's just another way to use controller automation in the sense of an initial setup. It's also a method many sound generators provide in one or another way and can be stored outside the module without the need to store ton's of patches inside a module.
Last edited by TiUser on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:52 am, edited 7 times in total.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:41 am

pinkcanaru wrote:Saw this in the Sonic manual
HALion Sonic comes with a special Multi Chain feature
which allows you to set up a list of 128 multis which you
can either step through manually or load by program
change. This feature is particularly useful when performing
live on stage. It allows you, for example, to setup up a list
of sounds that follows the order of their appearance during your performance.


That would be 128 x 16 patches.


I am not sure if I understand this proper. This chain feature sounds useful if you exclusively use Halion Sonic. But that's what I do definitely not want. Can I load/change chains via bank or program numbers too?

Additionally I also do not really need a chain as it's the same like a "Registration Bank" in my terms (and my software). The chain feature in a registration bank seems even to be more comfortable as I store registrations only once, then specify the chain like Intro (1) - Main (2) - Break (3) - Main (2) - Break (3) - Ending (4). Remember that these steps can also set style sections and recall content like notes/scores,... I doubt Halion Sonic will provide me anything to accomplish that with ease...

I think a workstation environment should be located in the host and not inside a plugin - but again, maybe I didn't understand the point right.
Last edited by TiUser on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
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