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HALion String Edition 2
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Steinberg Media Technologies announced an update to its HALion String Edition VSTi product. HALion String Edition 2 offers a total of 9GB of solo and ensemble strings, and integrates Steinberg's HALion sampling technology with a specially recorded sound library to form a multi-purpose virtual string orchestra.

"Our main aim with this update is to expand the HALion String Edition to capture the full sonic range and emotional depth of orchestral string sounds, while keeping the functionality accessible and the price affordable," says Steinberg's Director of Product Management Claus Menke.

HALion String Edition 2 includes 9 GB of sounds performed by one of Europe's leading orchestras, which was recorded in 24-bit and using top grade recording equipment. Included are solo and ensemble strings in a large variety of articulations including, crescendo, trills, up and down bowing, portamento and many more. HALion String Edition 2 also features RealAmbience, a new technique that offers a concert hall sound with no artificial reverb.

During the recording and production phases, particular attention was paid to achieving a warm and emotive yet detailed and precise sound that sits just as well in an RnB mix as in a classical arrangement, according to the company. Features such as the sound browser window also make the full breadth of sounds contained in HALion String Edition 2 readily accessible, and the unique Q-Controls allow easy control of the most important sound-shaping parameters.

HALion String Edition 2 offers several technologies to maximize efficiency in its use of the computer's CPU and RAM resources. First seen in Steinberg's HALion sampler, RAMSave unloads unused samples from RAM, freeing up memory for other instruments and applications. The supplied ECO versions of sounds allow high levels of polyphony even on older computers, while the advanced disk-streaming mode makes HALion String Edition 2 highly efficient in its memory use.

HALion String Edition 2 supports all major plug-in formats such as VST, DXi, and AU. ReWire support offers easy integration into Pro Tools, while the standalone version allows HALion String Edition 2 to be used without a host application.

Price and availability

HALion String Edition 2 will be available for $399.99 MSRP from August 2005.

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