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HALion vs. Gigasampler


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Now that Steinberg's [url=http://www.steinberg.net/products/ae/plugins/halion/index.phtml?sid=06546943]HALion[/url] has been out for over a month, does anyone have some experience with it to share? As a Mac user who was denied a chance to experience Gigasampler, it sounds as if this could be the sampler I've been waiting for. In addition to seamless VST integration, this [b]32 bit[/b] software sampler streams samples direct-from-disk much in the same way Gigasampler does. In addition, it supports Akai, LM4 scripts, WAV, AIFF, E-mu, Roland, and Soundfont2 formats! It sure looks good on paper. In fact, it seems that the only disadvantage of HALion compared to Gigasampler is that HALion can't access the library of huge samples, which has already been released in Gigasampler format. However considering the popularity of VST instruments, I imagine that gap will shrink rapidly. So I want to know, if HALion is so great, why aren't more people writing about it? Is the market so glutted that people are just unaware of its existence? Also, does HALion work with DP 3 using VST Wrapper, Pluggo, or VSTi Host? If anyone is using it, please share. Thanks, soapbox

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Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Hey Soapbox.. HALion looks good to me... I've got a 20Gb EMU library on CD-ROM, which I can load in...no prob... It all works wonderfully, and I've not been able to find the "serious drawback" that comes with all Steinberg software....as yet....... Read my review of it in "Muzik" magazine....maybe only available in the UK. I note that you inhabit a strange place called "Los Angeles"..?!...is that near Ulan Bator? Regards, etc
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LOL! Thanks for the feedback, [b]Batman[/b]. I believe that you are slightly closer to Mongolia than are we here in Los Angeles. I will look for your review on newsstands here. I have little problem in buying Sound On Sound, Future Music, or its spawn, Computer Music, so I have high hopes of finding Muzik magazine as well. In which issue is your review? I have quite a similarly large E-mu library and a large S1000 library as well, so I am optimistic after your feedback. Was your problem-free usage on a PC or on a Mac?

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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My computer-weapon-of-choice is the Macintosh.....I don't give a fuck, but Macs work for me...whatever.. You're still wrong, Soapbox, Outer Mongolia is closer to your Southern Californian ass than to the chilly little islet of Britain... I've been writing reviews for Muzik since July...it's good for me 'cos they want a humourous approach, which suits my bloodclaat. Sound On Sound appears to be written by serious folks who work for telecommunications companies, and piss about during the evening..... Future Music is written by people who are shit scared of loosing their jobs because they ain't pulling in enough advertising...... As someone once said.."Don't stop the music"... Best Ade
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Magazine reviewers are always the first to get to play with the new toys! Is there anyone else out there who would care to share? I'd still like to know how well HALion works with Digital Performer 3 (using VST Wrapper, Pluggo, or VSTi Host). Also,does anyone have a large Akai library they're using with HALion? Oh, and one more question, Ade, should one dedicate a fast hard drive exclusively for use with HALion? Thanks for your responses. This message has been edited by soapbox on 08-09-2001 at 03:06 PM

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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I want to add that I created this topic in The Keyboard Corner forum as well and got a response from bluebus, who is successfully using HALion with Akai samples on a PC with Cubase. If you want to read his post, [url=http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/001505.html]click here[/url] .

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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[quote]Originally posted by soapbox: [i]does HALion work with DP 3 using VST Wrapper, Pluggo, or VSTi Host? If anyone is using it, please share.[/i][/quote] I've done some research about using HALion with Digital Performer. Here's what I've found: 1) I called both Steinberg and MOTU. Neither of them had tried the two together. MOTU does test VST instruments with Digital Performer using VST Wrapper, but they didn't have a copy of HALion yet. I encouraged the tech support guy I talked with to call Steinberg and get one. 2) I e-mailed the makers of both VSTi Host and VST Wrapper. Both replied within an hour of my e-mail. [b]Dan Nigrin[/b], the creator of DefectiveRecords' VSTi Host, directed me to [url=http://www.defectiverecords.com/vstihost/incompatible.asp]this page[/url] of his company's website. He wrote, [i]"It works, but there's a specific mode the plugin has to be in upon startup; see the website for more info, in the support/plugin compatibility section."[/i] On the webpage it states, [i]"Display bug in lower half of window if startup plugin in 'Macro' mode."[/i] VSTi Host is different than VST Wrapper or Pluggo in that it creates a stand-alone solution, not specifically aimed at use with Digital Performer. This is Defective Records' [url=http://www.defectiverecords.com/vstihost/details.html]description of VSTi Host[/url] : [i]"VSTi Host 3.0 is a Macintosh application that allows VST plugins to be used outside of larger host applications (like Cubase, Logic, etc.). It also allows for sequencers that may not have native support for VST plugins and/or instruments (like ProTools, Vision, Digital Performer, and Metro for example) to use them, as long as the sequencer supports the OMS-IAC bus."[/i] [b]Peter Bakker[/b] at Audio Ease sent me this reply: [i]"The Halion works ok, but doesn't currently come up as a multitimbral instrument. Also, it can forget it's settings across save's and load's. I need to do an update of the Wrapper the first thing is already fixed in a beta, but the second requires a bit more work."[/i] 3) I called tech support Cycling '74, the makers of Pluggo, and left a message. They haven't returned my call, but it's only been two hours or so since I left the message. I'll post again once I hear from them. I hope this was helpful to someone beside myself. Thanks again, Ade, for your responses.

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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I,m not sure exactly how a VST wrapper works on a Mac but on a PC,some worked with VSTi and some didn't(just plugins),you had to set up an audio track and a midi track,with the midi track being enabled with a virtual midi driver(midi yolk).A cheap way of testing this would be to download MDA's free VSTi Piano(Mac/Pc)which is vst 2.0 spec,and if that works,so should all Mac VSTi including Halion.
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
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[quote]Originally posted by soapbox: [i]I called tech support Cycling '74, the makers of Pluggo, and left a message. They haven't returned my call, but it's only been two hours or so since I left the message. I'll post again once I hear from them.[/i][/quote] [b]Matthew[/b] at Cycling '74 sent me this e-mail: [i]"I have not yet tested Halion with Pluggo in DP. I have yet to get a copy from Steinberg and will have some answers then. I know a few people have attempted using it but I am not sure about the results. Sorry I cannot be of more help."[/i]

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Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Hey Soapbox -- this is as good an opportunity as any to say thanks again for all the great posts you've made to this forum. I can assure you they're appreciated, and the ones in this thread have been extremely helpful. Carry on!
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HALion is really swell. I'm using it on a humble 350MHz G3 iMac under Cubase 5, mostly tracking with hella converted Sounfonts I pulled off the web for free. Only drag is Steinberg made it not work under Cubase 4.1, forcing you to upgrade to v5 which otherwise is a not-very-exciting upgrade, which was kinda a bitch move. But what can ya do. Haven't used it with drum parts yet, I do those with NI Battery cuz it can make any drum sound be frightening with the "shape" knob.
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[quote]Originally posted by Anderton: [i]Hey Soapbox -- this is as good an opportunity as any to say thanks again for all the great posts you've made to this forum. I can assure you they're appreciated, and the ones in this thread have been extremely helpful. Carry on![/i][/quote] Wow [b]Craig[/b], coming from you, that’s quite a compliment! As a charter subscriber to (Contemporary) Keyboard Magazine and a music periodical junkie (I currently subscribe to nine music magazines), I’ve been reading your great reviews and advice for, I believe, a quarter of a century! Your words have been very helpful over the years. Thank you.

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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I took the plunge yesterday and bought a copy of HALion from my local Sam Ash dealer in Canoga Park. On my way out of the store, I was introduced to a tech support guy from Steinberg (their US headquarters happens to be nearby). He cautioned me not to try to load "banks" into HALion, because there are no banks in HALion. However, there is a misprint in the manual saying that there are, and Steinberg tech support has been fielding a lot of calls on the subject. He said to load in programs one at a time and there should be no problems. I plan to post some of my impressions of HALion here, but please don’t hold your breath. As soon as I can find the time, I will be integrating a lot of new software and hardware into my current studio setup, and HALion is just one of many items I’m adding. The following items have already been purchased but are yet to be incorporated into my setup: Kind of Loud RealVerb, Antares AutoTune 3.0, Waves Gold Bundle 3.0 upgrade, Cycling '74 Pluggo 2.1, Defective Records VSTi Host 3.0, BitHeadz Unity DS-1, BitHeadz Osmosis, BitHeadz Retro AS-1, Native Instruments Reaktor 3.0, Native Instruments Battery, Steinberg HALion, Korg OASYS PCI 2.0.1, PI Engineering X-key Pro, Keyfax Phat.Boy, CM Labs Motor Mix, Contour Design ShuttlePro, MOTU Digital Performer 3.0 upgrade, Emagic Logic Audio Platinum 4.6.1 update, Steinberg Cubase VST/32 5.0 upgrade (and 5.0 r1 update), Digidesign DirectConnect with 128 Buffers. Whew! It will be fun using all this stuff, but I need to find a week of downtime to set it all up properly! Thank you all again for your help and kind words, soapbox P.S. Thanks also, [b]gratte[/b], for your input. I’m glad to read that you are enjoying Battery as well. The Native Instruments demo of it at 2001 Winter NAMM won me over, and I’m eagerly anticipating its introduction, along with HALion, to my setup.

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Okay, I’m drifting off topic briefly here... Speaking of [url=http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?battery_us]Native Instruments Battery[/url] and cool things [b]Craig[/b] has written, [url=http://www.musicplayer.com/CDA/Player/Main/1,2228,Reviews--5161649,00.html]check this out[/url] . What a thorough review!

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Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Hey Soapbox.. Looks like you've been doin' some serious research, dude.... Getting all this stuff running on a powerfull computer can be a seriously musically liberating experience.... Yes, Craig, on initial experience, HALion kicks the ESX24s virtual butt, more than somewhat.....I'm currently checking out "Melodyne"..y'heard o' that?? "The Canaped Crusader"
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[b]Ade[/b], I found Muzik magazine at both Virgin Megastore and Borders Books here in L.A. The August issue is on newsstands here right now, but I have a feeling I’ll find your HALion review in the September issue since your AutoTune 3 review was in the issue I purchased. BTW, I liked your other ideas of what you can do with Autotune. I’ll have to experiment a little after I install it. A lot of posts in this forum express a general hatred of AutoTune, but I think it’s a cool tool with a lot of possibilities. Certainly, it can be used poorly, but that’s the only thing people seem to be aware of. Okay, I’ve derailed my own thread again. Looking forward to your HALion and Melodyne reviews, soapbox P.S. Since you mentioned getting all of this running on a powerful computer, I’ll take this opportunity to share what I have along those lines as well. I have a single processor 500 MHz G4 with 576 MB of RAM, two 9 GB Cheetah SCSI drives (on an ATTO Express card) for audio, and a 30 GB IDE drive for applications. Even though my 500 MHz G4 hasn’t been top of the line for over a year, I’m presuming it will do. If so, I think I’ll hold out for a quad processor G5!

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Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Soapbox.. Your rig sounds fine.... I've been running all this shit on a 366 iBook SE with 192Mb RAM... I originally bought it for all NON musical apps..but...you know how it goes. ..after a week I thought...mmm...how many audio tracks could I deal with in Logic?...etc..etc.. A G5??...time to check out ..www.macosrumors.com.... Best Ade
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[quote]Originally posted by Batman: [i]Read my review of it in "Muzik" magazine....maybe only available in the UK.[/i][/quote] [b]Ade[/b], well it only took two months, but your HALion review, in the October issue of Muzik, finally arrived in California this week. I must say that I really liked your approach of describing the features by way of explaining the process of sampling, assigning the samples to keygroups, and so on. I'm suprised that more reviews aren't written in this style. After all, the value of features really comes alive when one understands how they factor into the experience of using the product. In other words - good review! Best, Geoff

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Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Hi, Having used HALion for some time I must say that I find no reason whatever to go back to using a harware sampler. I find HALion to be: - easy to use - good sounding - incredibly handy as all set-ups etc are saved with my song and all samples loaded at song start. Super total recall. I use it in every project I do. I think that is the best comment I can make. Best regards, Mats Nermark
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[quote]Originally posted by dansouth@yahoo.com: [b]Any news on the streaming version of Emagic's EXS24? Prediction: Giga is heading for the toilet when this thing comes out. ProTools/Logic users will all jump on the EXS bandwagon.[/b][/quote] Ya maybe.. I'm runnin a 1 gig 512 ram 3 drive on a raid system just for giga.. I doubt that if Logic(My other system) could handle that kind of abuse.. that even the dual processors are gonna flub still trying to pump out midi and audioand sampling and plugs.. Realize that I just set up my Gargitian Strings CD.. 15 F'in cd's loaded with awsome String stuff... Man ya gotta get that load off a main computer.. I still do 24-30 tracks of audio too.. Giga just purrse along nicely on it's own.. And I can eventually run 2 more 40 or 60 gig drives and load em up internally and not worry bout anything over heating.. ESX etc has a long way to go.. Brian
Smile if you're not wearin panties.
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Just a little word to the wise from someone on the inside... Giga is going to be getting...um...quite a bit cooler sometime soon. Remember that the guys who founded Giga are now free to create new code 100% of the time (before TASCAM acquired them, they also had to do all of the business work as well as the development stuff). Someone who knows the direction we're going recently pointed out to me that he sees the Giga platform being in a similar position that Digi was with Pro Tools about ten years ago. There's lots of good stuff in the works. Anyway...wish I could talk more...but I'd be silenced with extreme prejudice. Since I want to continue living and stuff, I just have to say "stay tuned". Fun times ahead. [img]http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif[/img] - Jeff
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I find Halion to be a GREAT software sampler. As someone else pointed out, there is really no need for a hardware sampler if you have the horsepower to run multiple tracks through a daw with Halion. I've only been using it for a couple of weeks and I'm already considering adding another 2408 and use the entire analog bank of my d8b for software synths. I just need a faster cpu before I go there. Sidenote: Yes, NI Battery is by far the very best native drum sampler I've ever seen. I sampled every sound from both of my Roland drum machines into it and it is now the default studio drum machine. Lawrence
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