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Steinberg Media Technologies has announced a new VST instrument product created to offer the ideal all-round composition and production workstation. HALion Sonic combines a 12GB sample library produced by Steinberg and Yamaha with a fully featured synthesis engine to offer synths, hybrid and acoustic instruments for composers, producers, musicians and sound designers in almost any conceivable production setting. The much-anticipated successor to Steinberg's Hypersonic, HALion Sonic retains its ease-of-use while offering vastly expanded sound generation possibilities. HALion Sonic will be available in Q3 2010 for Windows and Mac OS X, and will cost €249/£212*.

HALion Sonic"HALion Sonic reaches a new level in intuitive handling and control while offering truly unlimited sonic dimensions for the demanding artist and producer," comments Helge Vogt, Steinberg's Product Marketing Manager for Cubase and the HALion product range. "While designing HALion Sonic as the musician's ideal go-to composition and production instrument, we realized that is it's not enough just to offer great content, instruments and FX, you also have to make all those sonic possibilities easily and intuitively useable in both the production and live performance arenas. Because we're using next-generation technology that will also feature in our upcoming HALion 4 virtual sampler, HALion Sonic does exactly that on the basis of some of the most advanced music production technology available today," Vogt continues.

The underlying sound engine features four different modes that offer a huge array of sound production tools. The high-performance disk streaming engine recreates acoustic instruments, while a dedicated sliced-loop mode offers a complete beat and rhythm production toolkit. A special drum mode includes everything needed to produce studio-grade drum tracks while the fully editable virtual analogue synthesis section offers almost limitless sound generation possibilities. Each of the 16 simultaneously loadable instruments features up to four complex sound 'layers' as well as its own four-way FX rack, including top quality FX such as the REVerence convolution reverb from Cubase 5.

Spanning over 1000 instruments across 12GB, the included library is the result of intense cooperation between Steinberg and the Yamaha sound design team behind the famed MOTIF series. Up to 20 articulations per instrument provide depth and expressiveness for a huge range of instruments and styles, while support for Steinberg's VST Expression technology allows Cubase owners easy control of all HALion Sonic articulations within Cubase. HALion Sonic also includes the powerful FlexPhrase module, driving beats, arpeggios and complex musical phrases including automatic switching of articulations.

HALion Sonic has been designed to make its vast array of production and sound design tools both intricately customizable as well as fast and intuitive to use. The incorporated MediaBay sound management system gives immediate access to all sounds, instruments, presets and phrases, with support for musically orientated categories and user tagging. With full support for MIDI Learn, HALion Sonic is easy to setup for MIDI controller hardware, while the Quick Controls system pulls up the most important parameters for each sound to dedicated controls for direct access. HALion Sonic makes setting up keyboard splits and layers quick and easy, while switching between entire Multi-Setups with a single key or button push. The included standalone version further highlights the suitability of HALion Sonic for live performance use on stage.

* Suggested Retail Price. Prices may be subject to regional variations.

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