A sampler to challenge the status quo, and a heavyweight DAW update
The HALion sampler has reached v6, and – on paper at least – it represents serious competition for NI Kontakt and UVI Falcon. For starters, there’s “next-generation” wavetable synthesis – you can extract single-cycle waveforms from imported audio files, then crossfade smoothly through them. New patch content includes two grand pianos, Hot Brass, Studio Strings, Anima (wavetable-based synth), and Skylab (granular synthesis instrument).
Custom patch interfaces can be whipped up in the Macro Page Designer using templates and drag-and-drop controls, while HALion Script allows programming of advanced behaviour and custom features. The new Library Creator should make it a breeze to export creations as VST Sound libraries for HALion and the HALion Sonic workstation (which, incidentally, has reached v3, with 25GB of added content and new effects).
HALion 6 now does something most samplers can’t: sample! You can record audio direct from an input, then slice it straight into a patch. Further additions include Library Manager, AAX support, and Resonator effect. HALion 6 costs £282. HALion Sonic 3 is £201.
On the DAW front, version 8 of Cubase’s big brother, Nuendo, has been announced. Prevalent in post-production and game audio, v8 incorporates Game Audio Connect 2, integrating with Audiokinetic’s Wwise interactive audio system. Composers can pipe audio and MIDI tracks (including cue/cycle markers) straight to Wwise.
Also new is Direct Offline Processing, replacing the existing cool-but-creaky Offline Processing, allowing for entire recallable, editable effects chains; Auto ReNamer for assigning new names to events; and Sound Randomizer, which scrambles pitch, timbre, impact and timing. There are some features seemingly taken from recent Cubase releases, too, including Sampler Tracks, MixConsole History and Frequency EQ. Nuendo 8 is out in June, with the price TBC.
HALion 6 looks like a beast of a power-sampler Nuendo 8 aims to be the game audio composer’s dream DAW