I just downloaded Halion Sonic and the 1.5 update which adds a lot more sounds. I have to
tell you as a owner of Hypersonic 2, that Sonic is a nice update from Hypersonic 2. It
does not replace it. But having a lot of Yamaha's Motif sounds without paying for another
keyboard is nice. The trumpets, trombones sound ok, with a typical keyboard brass sounds
from today's keyboards. The articulation on the instruments is better than Hypersonic 2,
and the sounds are fuller sounding. In addition there is some breath samples included with
the brass or finger sounds a little on other sounds that made it a little more realistic.
The sax, cello, and upright bass, are pretty good. No, its not as good as dedicated
orchestra software, but they are very useable. The interface is also very nice and modern,
and it makes Hypersonic 2 interface look it's age.
I have to admit the
strings don't sound any better than my Roland D50 which I have had for so many years. True
there are a lot more sounds, with more reverb and effects laid in, they are only ok. Sound
on Sound gave it a good review and their comments about the product I agree with. It is a
deep program with lots of controls and options, but to use the main controls, it is pretty
easy. I also agree that the reverb is too much on many of the sounds. Thankfully, the
reverb dial is on the main screen and can quickly be altered. The effects on many of the
sounds gives a fuller modern sound.
I found that it seems to take up about
10% of my CPU on my Quad computer. As someone with not many keyboards in my studio, this
is a nice addition. I can see getting a lot of ideas from the hundreds of sounds that are
in the program. They way they have the sounds laid out is very logical and being able to
find a particular sound is pretty easy. I will comment more after I spend many hours with
Edited by Glenn Bucci (08/02/11 03:03 AM)
I agree with the post about Halion Sonic. I found it to be incredibly fun to use and very
powerful. Therefore I had high hopes for Halion 4, which is the same engine but much more
powerful. Unfortunately it seems to be hiding under an interface which doesn't do it much
justice. And there are little things which are maddening - for example, you can't just
"open" your old FXB files - you have to import them, then save them as presets, only then
will they show up in your browser.
Even so, I'm surprised that it hasn't gotten
more attention. The layering, synth engine, and arpeggiations are incredible.
Unfortunately, you can't create your own arpeggios, which I had hoped for.