NAMM 2017: Steinberg beefs up its HALion sampler and Absolute bundle

NAMM 2017: Great news for fans of Steinberg's HALion and HALion Sonic sampling and synthesis workstations, and Absolute plugins bundle: new versions of all three are on the way.

The flagship HALion 6 - said to deliver "a detail-layered sound design environment that covers the full process of crafting custom instrument libraries" - significantly ups its creative game with the addition of wavetable synthesis. This comes complete with de rigeur 3D wavetable animations, drag and drop of samples from the browser for instant and automatic wavetable creation, and the ability to edit wave markers, crossfades and the harmonic spectrum of the 'table.

HALion 6's Sample Editor features a new live sampling engine for automated recording and keyboard mapping of external and virtual instruments. Automatically start and stop recorded with audio and/or MIDI input, and tell HALion how you want the recorded samples mapped - to black, white or all keys, or the those of the MIDI notes used to trigger the source signal. It looks to be a truly impressive, easy and fast way to create your own multisampled instruments.

The Macro Page Designer appears to make designing your own custom instruments within HALion 6 supremely straightforward. Controls are added via drag and drop; a graphically diverse library of knobs, faders and button give plenty of visual options; and the Library Creator enables export of custom instruments as VST Sound Libraries for use in HALion and HALion Sonic. More complex programming is also available through the HALion Script programming language.

Finally, HALion 6 also adds six new instrument libraries, comprising two grand pianos, brass and string sections, and a couple of synths.

Super Sonic?

HALion 6's playback-only sibling, HALion Sonic 3, meanwhile, benefits from an interface overhaul and the inclusion of the aforementioned six instruments (weighing in at 25GB), as well as a collection of new effects - Resonator, Vintage Compressor, Tube Saturator, REVerence, etc.

As well as being available individually, HALion 6 and HALion Sonic 3 also join Groove Agent 4, The Grand 3, Padshop Pro, Retrologue 2 and HALion Symphonic Orchestra in the 80GB bundle of musical joy that is Steinberg Absolute, freshly upgraded to version 3.

HALion 6, HALion Sonic 3 and Absolute 3 will all be available from February 9, priced EURO 349, EURO 249 and EURO 499 respectively. Find out more on the Steinberg website.