Sonic Atoms Releases FREE Novel Piano Sample Library


Sonic Atoms has released Novel Piano, an upright piano sound library for the free HALion Sonic SE plugin by Steinberg.

Novel Piano is an impressively good sounding upright piano sample library powered by the freeware HALion Sonic SE plugin. The library is the first virtual instrument released by Sonic Atoms. The creators sampled a modern upright piano in a relatively small studio space, resulting in an intimate-sounding virtual piano. The instrument was recorded both with and without the mute pedal.

See also: 99Sounds Releases FREE Upright Piano VST/AU Plugin

The recording engineers paid special attention to capture the subtle nuances of the sampled piano. The instrument was recorded with an array of seven microphones. The soundboard was recorded with a pair of closely positioned mics, while the low-end character was captured with another microphone positioned just above the ground. In addition, a pair of room microphones were used to capture the sound from the player’s perspective and another two microphones were placed five meters from the piano to record the room tone.

The samples were carefully edited and denoised. The multi-channel recordings were mixed to stereo in order to reduce the CPU and RAM usage when plating the instrument. The instrument is powered by Steinberg’s free HALion Sonic SE plugin. Register for a free Steinberg user account to download your free copy of the plugin.

I have to mention that Novel Piano’s interface is one of the most beautiful-looking GUI designs I’ve seen in a long while. The pastel color palette is calm and soothing, the moody background photo fits the vibe perfectly, and the subtle stained effect looks spot-on. Great job, whoever designed Novel Piano.

As for the functionality, the on-screen controls will let you adjust the release time, tonal balance, and the reverb mix. The instrument includes three different patches (Novel Piano, Scoring Piano, Fairy Tale Piano). Each preset is based on a different set of samples.

Novel Piano can be downloaded completely free of charge from the Sonic Atoms website. Find more instruments in our article about free piano VST plugins.

More info: Novel Piano (202 MB download size, ZIP archive, requires HALion Sonic SE)

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. Sounds beautiful. But I’ve never heard about Halion SE before (i guess), Steinberg claims that it doesn’t contain any sounds, so… any chances you’ll make a post about free libraries for HALion Sonic SE? Or maybe some passersby would help me with their suggestions =)

    • Sure,
      Halion is Steinberg’s equivalent to Native Instruments Kontakt – a full fledged sampling instrument that can also be used just as a player for libraries. Halion Sonic and Halion Sonic SE are just the player functionality without the in-depth sample editing.

      Halion Sonic comes free with Steinberg Cubase (including a library), while Sonic SE can be downloaded for free by anyone.

      Halion Sonic SE (the one that can be downloaded for free) does not come with any content as far as I know. It’s intended to be used with “Halion Expansions” (basically the equivalent to Kontakt libraries). Most Halion Expansions are available commercially from the Steinberg shop. Their are some pretty good instrument libraries, like their great Electric Bass library, which is unfortunately a bit overpriced and their Vibrant Electric Piano library:

      Sonic SE can also load libraries created by users who have the full version of Halion and who share their creations. As far as I know, there aren’t too many free Halion libraries around. The one in the article is probably one of very few that exist.

      From my experience most free libraries are created in
      1. Kontakt format (not Kontakt Player format, but in the format that requires the full version of Kontakt),
      2. EXS24 format (works in Logic and also with the free TX16wx sampler) or
      3. .sfz format (a free open format that allows easy creation of mappings with a text editor and can be played back with the free Sforzando player plugin).

      • Thanks a lot! It was tricky to find free stuff on their site. Or maybe i’m just not too smart with contemporary designs =)

  2. hello there !
    here are so far the free HalionSe library I’ve got (editors in brackets) :

    – AdnansPad (
    – Beat-Roehrich (Marco Scherer for the BEAT Magazine)
    – JayP8_Demo (jupiterbyjay
    – Wood-buccA (

    many sample fuel :
    – CYCLE-LITE Library (Sample Fuel)
    – DROP CRE8 Library (Sample Fuel)
    – Guitar Harmonics Essential
    – Pad Motion-LITE (Sample Fuel)
    – Poly CRE8 Demo Track Spark (Sample Fuel)
    – POLY-LITE (Sample Fuel)
    – REVOLUTION-CRE8 LITE (Sample Fuel)
    – WAVE-LITE (Sample Fuel)

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