HALion Sonic is a VST workstation instrument and the successor to Hypersonic 2. For composers, producers, musicians and demanding sound designers in virtually any conceivable production setting, HALion Sonic combines a high-quality sample library with a powerful sampling and synthesis engine to "unfold infinite possibilities for sound generation".
At the heart of HALion Sonic are four different modes that offer a broad range of sound production tools:
- The high-performance disk streaming mode is responsible for recreation of acoustic instruments.
- The fully editable virtual analog synthesis mode provides virtually endless possibilities for generating sounds, with waveforms and algorithms that deliver "pure quality".
- The dedicated sliced-loop mode comprises a complete beat and rhythm production toolkit.
- The special drum mode includes everything needed to produce studio-grade drum tracks.
With more than 1,200 synths, hybrid and acoustic instruments spanning across 12 GB of hard drive, the included library is the upshot of a strong collaboration between Steinberg and Yamaha sound design teams. A maximum of 20 articulations per instrument cover a generous scope of playing styles for various instruments, while support for Steinberg's VST Expression technology allows for real-time control of all HALion Sonic articulations within Cubase 5 and Cubase Studio 5. The integrated MediaBay sound management system delivers direct access to all sounds, instruments, presets and phrases and features musically oriented categories and tagging functionality.
HALion Sonic's Multi Program Rack provides 16 simultaneously loadable instrument programs, each with its own four-way effects rack, including boutique-style effects such as the REVerence convolution reverb. The morphing filters comprise a versatile set of 24 filter types which seamlessly switch between four filters in real time. Also included is the powerful FlexPhraser module which drives beats, arpeggios and complex musical phrases, including automatic switching of articulations.
Both intricately customizable and intuitive to use, HALion Sonic offers a wealth of quick and easy approaches to generating and controlling sounds. Creating keyboard splits and layers is swift and straightforward, whereas switching between Multi-Setups is performed merely by hitting a key or pushing a button - ideal for live stage performances. The Quick Controls system allows for assigning important sound parameters to dedicated controls, as well as fully supporting MIDI Learn which makes setting up MIDI controller hardware as easy as it gets. Ideal for on-stage performances, the included standalone version makes using a host application obsolete.