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Steinberg HALion 6 Screenshot.jpg
Initial release2001; 21 years ago (2001)
Operating systemWindows, macOS
TypeSoftware Sampler / Software Synthesizer

HALion is a software instrument application, created by German music software company Steinberg for macOS and Windows.[1] It uses a sample-based approach to emulate the acoustic sounds of a full orchestra, such as the strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion sections, with multiple configurations for each instrument, allowing for variations in timbre.[1][2] It can also use multiple forms of sound synthesis to produce other software synthesizer audio.[3]

HALion can be used either as a standalone application, or as a VST, AU, or AAX (Avid Audio eXtension for Pro Tools) plug-in within digital audio workstation software.[4]


The first version of HALion was released by Steinberg in 2001.[5] By the year 2004, it had reached version 3.[6]

At Musikmesse 2006, Steinberg announced a specific version of the software, known as the HALion Symphonic Orchestra, which included the samples to represent a full orchestra.[7]

On 1 April 2009, Steinberg released the version 3.5 update to HALion, which introduced 64-bit support.[8][9]

In July 2009, Michael Fakesch (former member of the band Funkstörung) produced a score for the Philips commercial Carousel (which won the Film Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival[10]) using the HALion Symphonic Orchestra and Cubase.[11]

In June 2010, Steinberg announced the HALion Sonic edition of the software, positioned as the successor to their previous Hypersonic 2 software instrument, including both sampling and sound synthesis functionality.[12]

Version 4 of the main edition of HALion was announced at Musikmesse 2011,[13] introducing sound synthesis features to expand beyond purely sample-based audio.[14] Version 5 (and version 2 of HALion Sonic) followed in July 2013 with new instruments and effects.[15]

Version 6 of HALion, announced at Winter NAMM Show on 19 January 2017 (alongside version 3 of HALion Sonic), introduced new features such as customization macros and user scripting (using a LUA-based scripting language[16][6]).[17]


There are 3 different editions of HALion available:

  • HALion Sonic SE: A free version of HALion Sonic (also included with all versions of Cubase[18]), with a smaller sample library and reduced sound synthesis functionality.[19][20]
  • HALion Sonic: A version of HALion with reduced functionality. For example, it does not include custom macro and sampling features.[19][21]
  • HALion: The full version of HALion, including sampling and scripting functionality.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Steinberg Halion Symphonic Orchestra |". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  2. ^ "Steinberg HALion Symphonic Orchestra review". Music Radar. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  3. ^ "Steinberg HALion 6 review". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  4. ^ "HALion 6 & HALion Sonic 3 Review - Extensive and Versatile". MusicTech. 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  5. ^ "Softly Softly". Sound On Sound. September 2001. Archived from the original on 8 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Steinberg HALion | Behind-the-Scenes Developer Interview". Synthmorph. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  7. ^ "Steinberg Presents HALion Symphonic Orchestra". Mixonline. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  8. ^ "Steinberg - Creativity First". Steinberg. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  9. ^ "HALion 3.5 adds 64-bit support and new soundbank". Music Radar. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  10. ^ "TV Is Snubbed as Philips, Tribal DDB Win Film Grand Prix". Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  11. ^ "Cubase Powers Michael Fakesch and Philips to Cannes Lions Win | Steinberg". Steinberg. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  12. ^ "Steinberg Releases HALion Sonic Workstation". Sonicstate. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  13. ^ "Musikmesse 2011: Steinberg announces HALion 4 release". Music Radar. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  14. ^ "Steinberg HALion | Behind-the-Scenes Developer Interview". Synthmorph. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  15. ^ Elisabeth (2013-07-24). "Steinberg Releases Halion 5, Halion Sonic 2". Synthtopia. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  16. ^ "Sonic LAB: Steinberg HALion 6 Overview". Sonicstate. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  17. ^ "HALion 6, HALion Sonic 3 and Absolute 3 Announced at Winter NAMM". usa.yamaha.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  18. ^ "Cubase 9 201: HALion Sonic SE Revealed Video Tutorial - macProVideo.com". www.macprovideo.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  19. ^ a b c "HALion product comparison". Steinberg. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  20. ^ "Here's How To Quickly Create Chords In The FREE HALion Sonic SE Plugin". ask.audio. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  21. ^ "Steinberg Halion Sonic |". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.

External links[edit]