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Topic: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

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  1. #1

    Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    I have HALion String Ed. 1 (along with every other orchestral lib) and I'm curious about how Steinberg's Symphonic Orchestra sounds. I can buy it for a mere $240 + $40 for the stupid Steinberg key but before I shell out the cash I was hoping for some unbiased opinions or better yet, first hand experiences with it.

  2. #2

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Judging by de demos i've listened to (and user responses on several forums i've read), i would invest in more mature libs in your price range.
    (who've proven themselves)
    Like e.g. Garritan GPO, Kirk Hunter Emerald/Ruby, Miroslav Philharmonik, Siedlaczek (if i do spell his name right) Advanced Orchestra to name a few.

    I think that the Halion Symphonic sounds rather fake and cheap, instead of realistic. The sounds, are like it's from an average synth.
    Sorry if it sounds harsh, but that just MY thoughts. If you like the sound, go for it.

  3. #3

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    I have not heard Demos of this library, but am a Steinberg customer which ad to suffer from their horribly bad programmed HalionOne player. My suggestion: Invest a little bit more and get something that sounds decent AND works. Avoid Steinberg software where possible.
    Greetings from Vienna!
    Peter
    My website: Above the staff.net

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by musicpete
    Avoid Steinberg software where possible.
    My advice (as a Mac user) would be similar. The Halion Strings themselves are very good, but I gave up after various hassles with the flaky interface.

    Nigel

  5. #5

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    It's not bad - I use it mainly for its strings (when I'm not using SISS) and woodwind. The brass aren't excellent but are not the worst I've heard. The percussion is OK too. I'm not sure what problems people are experiencing with the interface, but it's been fine for me.

    Compared to GPO, I would use this, but then I hate the Kompakt interface, so it really depends what you're happier using.

  6. #6

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Yeah, my original HALion String Edition was flakey but seems to work well with Sonar 5 on my AMD64 Athlon. No problems there.

    As for the sounds, I disagree that it sounds synthy. My 4 year old HALion String Edition has better pizz and downbow spiccato samples than any of my other libraries (including EWQLSO Gold Pro XP, VSL, Miroslav Philharmonic & MOTU Symphonic Instrument). I liked some of the brass and percussion on the demo too. I don't think this library would be altogether awesome BUT none of the ones I own are 100% effective on their own. I like mixing the VSL legato instruments (flute and horns especially) with my GOld Pro XP percussion and Miroslav winds and legato strings. MOTU is pretty useless sonically in myopinion but I employ the period instruments it offers just so I don't get bumbed out at the money I spent on that one.

  7. #7

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Sorry to say, but if you have so much libs, and still don't get the sound you're looking for? I begin to wonder your how your skills working with sample libs are.
    VSL for one is very very good in strings.
    The only thing you need to master is HOW to use it correctly.

    And Really, Steinberg stuff is synthy sounding, if you listen to the demos. (i've let a friend of mine (who is Conductor) listen to the demos i've listened to: he agrees on the synthy sounding part)

  8. #8

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by teebones
    Sorry to say, but if you have so much libs, and still don't get the sound you're looking for? I begin to wonder your how your skills working with sample libs are.
    VSL for one is very very good in strings.
    The only thing you need to master is HOW to use it correctly.

    And Really, Steinberg stuff is synthy sounding, if you listen to the demos. (i've let a friend of mine (who is Conductor) listen to the demos i've listened to: he agrees on the synthy sounding part)
    First off, most guys who use orchestral libraries rely on various ones to build their own orchestra because not ONE library has everything. I use SAM brass, EWQLSO percussion and some brass, VSL harps and legato instruments, Miroslav Philharmonik for legato strings and winds, MOTU SI for period instruments (lute, recorders), and even some Apple Jam Packs for the occasional instrument.

    It's not that I'm tweak phobic either. I love to alter my samples. Trim an envelope here, mess around with a filter there. I was just saying that some articulations haven't yet impressed me so I'm open to new libraries. I find that most string libraries (that I currently own) don't have the bite of the downbow spiccato that I need in some cases. Strangely enough, I can get it using NOTION with the stacatissimo articulation. Anyhow, I bought it ($230 through an upgrade from Halion String Ed. 1) so I'll see for myself. I'll try to post some stuff as I get into it.

  9. #9

    Re: Does anyone use HALion Symphonic ORchestra

    Now that I have had some time to spend with HALion Symphonic Orchestra here are my thoughts:

    Strings (ensemble)- nice bite in the shorter samples, good sound in the alternating bowing, a little lack of timbral variation though in the velocity dept though. Legato are nice sounding- the added "air" feature helps. The mod wheel expression patches are quite effective. Pizz strings are good although I miss the "loose" pizz articulations from HALion String Ed. (although I own that too so no biggie). A-

    Strings (Solo)- short samples are good to better than average. Legato are not so good. I would only use these for the staccato articulations. C

    Brass (Ensemble)- better than MOTU S.I. and GPO but pretty much sub-standard compared to Miroslav, EWQLSO Gold Pro XP and VSL. Sam brass of course is the best. C-

    Brass (Solo)- Haven't had enough time to make a good estimate on these.

    Winds- only solo instruments are represented.
    Flute- usable in an ensemble setting- not for solo passages. C+
    Oboe- ditto C+
    Bassoon- surprisingly nice. staccato doesn't have enough depth though. B+
    Clarinet- not bad. B
    Bass Clarinet- good. B
    contrabasson- MISSING. F

    Percussion-
    Tuned- nothing to brag about. C
    Non-Pitched- timp rolls are okay, good body and attack. C+

    Piano- missing. F

    Harp- missing. F- (this is inexcusable)

    *******************
    Conclusions- Overall it's the strings that save this library. And HALion String Ed. 2 seems to have been discontinued in favor of this library. It's not a complete disaster because it's better over-all than MOTU's S.I. but not much. My Apple Orchestral Jam Pack is actually on avergae better sounding than this package (although it's been speculated that those are, in fact, VSL-lite sounds which explains why they sound so good).

    I'll use the nice biting string articulations in my music but I'm not going to dump my SAM brass nor Gold Pro XP sounds or VSL legato patches for HALion Symphonic Orchestra anytime soon.

    The only reason I'm not really pissed is that this cost $230. It is NOT WORTH the list price of $500. Nowhere near. For that, I would recommend Silver Pro XP or Miroslav Philharmonik. Both are superior sounding packages.

    The good news is that with the stupid dongle, I could re-sell this library. That is the one good thing about iLok and dongles of this nature.

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