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20 June 2005

HALion Player

Filed under: Music software at 8:19 pm Comments Off on HALion Player

HALion Player is a new software sampler from Steinberg. It’s a cut-down and simplified version of their HALion 3 engine — more like a ROM-based sampler than a flexible software sampler. But it’s much cheaper than the full HALion 3.

The website has more details: Tailored to newcomers to virtual sampling, HALion Player puts many of the next-generation technologies available on the HALion sampling platform behind a sleek, no-frills interface. HALion Player is the perfect choice for any User searching for a stable, easy to use and affordable sample content playback module for VST, DXi2, AU and any Rewire environment. It provides a low-cost yet high-quality way of playing any of the hundreds of commercially available HALion libraries as well as Wav / Aif / Rex / Rex2 / Zgr and LM4 instrument files.

HALion Player includes the full HALion 3 sound library, consisting of a broad selection of highest quality instrument and drum sounds, and utilizes the award-winning, surround-capable HALion 3 playback engine. HALion Player also offers the outstanding Waldorf filters and disk-streaming power that have helped establish HALion 3 as one of the top virtual samplers available today in terms of both sound quality and performance.

The unique Q-Control concept introduced in the new HALion 3.1 version provides HALion Player with an adaptable set of sound-shaping controls. All HALion libraries include predefined Q-Controls which have been assigned to a certain set of parameters by the content creator and are chosen to ideally suit shaping and forming sound for that program. This allows a high degree of flexibility in altering and shaping sounds with HALion Player, while keeping functional clutter to a minimum.

The advanced HALion Player program loading facilities unify finding, selecting and loading a sound for quick, no-hassle access to even the largest HALion sample libraries. HALion Player also offers 256-voice polyphony delivering pristine 32-bit audio to up to 256 audio outputs into the mixer of the host application.


  • Award-winning HALion 3 technology at a very affordable price
  • Ultra easy user interface, clean, handy and easy to understand even for beginners, simply can’t misused
  • Includes the full HALion 3 sound library, consisting of a broad selection of highest quality instrument and drum sounds
  • Loads and plays back any HALion HSB, fxp and fxb Content
  • Allows import and keyboard mapping of Wav / Aif / Rex / Rex2 / ZGR and LM4 files
  • Q-Controls – 8 Content pre-defined Sound shaping parameters per program allows instant fun while tweaking without the need to understand the complex architecture creating the Sound. Remote controllable with the all new set & forget MIDI learn mode.
  • Sound Category System support, no difference between finding, selecting and loading a Sound
  • 256 Voices polyphony and a maximum of 256 audio outputs, 16 sounds on 16 MIDI channels simultaneously per instance
  • Connects to everything: VST, DXi2, AU, Rewire and standalone

2 June 2005

Waves IR-1 Convolution Reverb review — Studio Reviews

Filed under: Music software at 11:35 am Comments Off on Waves IR-1 Convolution Reverb review — Studio Reviews

Studio Reviews give Waves IR-1 Convolution Reverb a very good review. They found the reverb to be “smooth, very clean and detailed. The vocals or instruments being used with the Wave impulses sound like they were recorded in the venues. With synthesized reverb units, a lot of times it sounds like you’re adding a reverb on top of the signal. But with the Waves impulses (as well as many third-party impulses) you get the impression that the signal was recorded in the room you chose.” Of course, this puts demands on the host computer: they recommend a Pentium IV or G5 with a minimum of 1 gig of ram to run it smoothly.

They also like the interface; they “found the IR-1 to be very straight forward and easy to use. The screen display is very neat and organized and pleasant to the eyes. ” This makes it easy to take advantage of the plugin’s flexibility: “Being able to adjust early reflections, tails, size, damping, changing the EQ and other features makes it very flexible. If you alter the controls modestly, you can get different character and size while still retaining the great sound.”

They like the included impulse responses, which contain “some very amazing impulses.”: “The software comes with two CD-ROMs with over 60 room types from auditoriums, theaters, small rooms, medium halls, churches, recording studios, outdoors, opera houses, amphitheaters, clubs, stairwells, car interiors, and stadiums. Plus there are 60 different hardware device presets as well.” So you can get that genuine “car interior” sound without having to drag your equipment down to the garage.

And it’s not just the included impulses, it’s what you can do with them: “if you want more control and flexibility, I easily can recommend the Waves IR-1. On the Waves web site, there are additional impulses you can download as well giving you more venues to choose from. However you cannot download any of the Waves impulses unless you have an IR-1. It should be noted that not all impulses are done with great care and skill that Waves has taken. Many just use the balloon method, which can reflect in reverbs that don’t have the same intimate detailed sound that Waves offers with their impulses.”

IR-1 is available in a full and a light version. The light version, called IR-L, has the same sound and uses all the same impulses, but has limited controls compared to the full version. It’s also cheaper.

The reviewer was initially skeptical about IR-1, but the quality won him over: “Before I reviewed the IR-1, my feeling was most of us just need one of the cheaper plug-ins above, with convolution impulses available online. However after comparing the IR-1 to the other packages, I feel the additional flexibility justifies the higher price. … So if you want high end impulses and great flexibility, I recommend looking closely at the Waves IR-1. I had no choice but to buy this amazing reverb.”