December 18, 2017


MAJOR CHORDS is a new VST3 guitar sampler for Steinberg HALion Sonic developed by Steve Stroud at Big Cloud Productions.
It can be used in HALion Sonic either in the stand alone player or as a VSTi plug in within your DAW session. So now in Cubase, Reaper or any DAW that will load VST3’s,  you can automate real sampled guitars and basses to play any chord or note anywhere in your track.

If you’re new to Halion Sonic, the two tabs you’ll mostly need to concern yourself with are:

LOAD: Just click MAJOR CHORDS and choose a Preset. (This will load MAJOR CHORDS in Halion. Hit a key to test)

EDIT: This takes you to the Main MAJOR CHORDS screen where you can tweak all the knobs and faders. Here you’ll see that that there are 3 tabs to the MAJOR CHORDS program.

MAIN: This is the main landing page where you’ll see 3 faders, some knobs and buttons. Nearly everything in MAJOR CHORDS has a tooltip, so if you’re unsure about what something does, hovering your mouse over it usually clears things up.

The left side of the screen deals with the Electric Guitar samples, the middle the Bass Guitar Samples and the right the Acoustic Guitar samples. This doesn’t change whatever screen you’re on.

Each instrument also has it’s own volume fader, pan, mute and solo button.
The electric and acoustic guitars have a big knob near the bottom of the page which changes the sample chord type that’s played. ie: Major, Minor, Dim etc..
The bass has a similar knob, but instead of chords it just changes the pickup and tone options of the sampled note.

All these switches and knobs can be automated within your DAW, so you can easily get the guitars playing along with your own songs.
In your DAW session, just right click over any control and scroll to ‘Assign to New Automation’. You can then right click again and choose ‘Show Automation Track’. From there you can edit anything you like.

FX: This takes you to the Effects page. The faders and the mute and solo buttons are still available, but now you have access to overdrives, reverbs, amp types, chorus and delays for each individual instrument. The switch lights up yellow when an effect is activated. The knobs and switches to the right of the switch allow you to dial in as much of the effect as you want.

EQ: The third tab is the EQ page. Each instrument has it’s own designated 4 band EQ. The toggle switch at the top (underneath the mute on solo buttons) is the master EQ on/off switch for each instrument. The EQ is only active if the yellow light on this switch is on.
Underneath are 4 knobs for gain (low, low mid, high mid, high), 4 knobs for the frequency that gain applies to and a Q control.
You can bypass each individual band by pressing the smaller switch above the gain knob. Once the yellow light goes out on this smaller switch the EQ band is bypassed.



*Digital download available immediately after checkout.

*Full install and user instructions are included with the digital download.

*You can create your own custom presets by right clicking the Major Chord program in the Halion program tree and ‘Saving as’.

*Electric and Acoustic Guitar Chords available: major, minor, dim, aug, 2, 7, m7, maj7, dim7, m/maj7,  7+5, 7sus2, 7sus4, 6, m6, 9, -9, m9, m-9, maj9, sus2, sus4, add9, 5(powerchord).

*Bass note options available: 2 humbuckers, neck humbucker, bridge humbucker, 2 singlecoils, neck singlecoil, bridge singlecoil, 2 humbuckers (Tone off), neck humbucker (Tone off), bridge humbucker (Tone off), 2 singlecoils (Tone off), neck singlecoil (Tone off), bridge singlecoil (Tone off),

*Effects available (Individual instruments.):  Steinberg VST amp modeller (choice of amps), VST amp Drive, Steinberg Reverence, convolution based Reverb, Reverse Reverb, Steinberg Stereo Chorus, Steinberg Stereo Delay (choice of delays).

*EQ available: (Individual instruments.) Steinberg 4 band Studio EQ (each instrument has its own 4 band EQ with gain, freq and Q controls)

*Controls available:  (Individual instruments.) Volume, Pan, Mute, Solo.

*On your midi keyboard, C3 is where the original note/chord that was sampled for each instrument was played. Playing around the 2nd and 3rd octaves will get you realistic guitar sounds, but I’ve left the keyboard octaves wide open so you can play as high or as low as you like for experimental sounds.

*Electric Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard (2 humbuckers, middle position) into Kemper JN Fender 59 Bassman
*Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14 (2 humbuckers, all positions sampled) into Kemper Amp Pig Cln
*Gibson J45 Standard (AKG 414 through Golden Age PREQ-73)

*To play MAJOR CHORDS you’ll need either Steinberg Halion, Halion Sonic or Halion Sonic SE (free)

*Below is a link to get your FREE Halion Sonic SE 3 player.

Major Chords created by Steve Stroud ©2017 with Halion 6

Introductory price ONLY £25



January 24, 2015

Song Production : ‘Hunger Games’ by Tim O’Neill

Big Cloud Productions - Audio Production for Songwriters

Another gem by the ex Magic Bullets frontman Tim O’Neill.

The fourth song of our ongoing collaboration is ‘Hunger Games’, a really strong track, written by Tim with all his usual intelligence overflowing with thoughtful lyrics, artistic chord changes and at least fourty fathoms of depth.

The last session we did together ended up producing the glorious ‘Honey’s Dead’, which we recorded with Lisa Von H. Everyone involved was very pleased with that track so we wanted to make sure we came back strong. The result is ‘Hunger Games’.

What started as a rich, but sparse acoustic guitar driven track was transformed by both Tim’s suggestions and also, (I like to think) our own musical input.
Tim wanted to utilise the world famous Amen drum break somewhere in the song and also had great ideas for backing vocals and bass. So I started working on getting the right drum beat and sound.
I laid down the acoustic rhythm, after studying tim’s initial demo and then the bass was recorded DI with my brand new Gibson EB14 bass, which was lovely to play with btw. I then added wah, wah guitar, backwards guitar lines and started arranging the strings. Tim then had the genius idea of getting us to add some flutes.
After one more brainstorming session with Tim, where we added some more vocal harmonies, guitar and synth parts. We believed we’d cracked it!

It’s always a real pleasure working with a true craftsman and talented songwriter such as Tim. This kind of session is exactly what Big Cloud Productions is all about. And on a personal note, it’s great to end Big Clouds time in the Eslington Street studio on a high. We’re now packing up our gear and moving to a brand new studio set up in leafy Woolton.

Anyway, have a listen to the finished mix. We think it’s boss.

The song credits are as follows.

Song Production : ‘Hunger Games’ by Tim O’Neill

Hunger Games by Tim O’Neill

Written by Tim O’Neill (C)2015

Lead Vocals / Acoustic and Electric Guitars – Tim O’Neill

Acoustic Guitars / Electric Guitars / Lead Guitars / Bass Guitar / Drum Programming / String and Woodwind Arrangements / Hammond Organ / Synths / Backing Vocals / Engineered / Produced / Mastered – Big Cloud Productions

If you’d be interested in working with us here at Big Cloud, get in touch with us TODAY!

January 7, 2015

Gibson EB14 Bass

Hi guys, Happy New Year and Happy New Guitar Day. (To me)

Just picked this new Gibson EB14 Bass up for an absolute steal. The guy selling it had bought it new only a month ago, it’s completely brand new, spotless. Neck, fret, electrics all perfect. Came with Gibson hard case and all the case candy.

Love it. It looks and sounds great. You can coil tap the humbuckers and it has a master tone control, so you can get (within reason) pretty much any bass sound you fancy.

I was using a five string Fender Jazz for recording and never really used the fifth B string all that much so the Fender just felt way too big, so I was on the hunt for a decently priced, good quality 4 string bass anyway.

One of the best things about the EB14 is the fancy locking bridge. I’ve had quite a lot of experience with high end guitars with expensive bridges before, but this is the best bridge I’ve ever used for easy locking set ups. Getting the string action just right is so smooth and so easy. It’s usually trial and error. Sounds great too.

I’m over the moon with this. New Low end for a New Year!