Presonus Atom SQ Review
A versatile and expressive MIDI pad controller for contemporary music production, Presonus’ Atom SQ is a 32-pad TR-808 styled groove box.
PreSonus has released the ATOM SQ a TR-808 styled groove box/MIDI controller, to accompany their 1st gen Atom Drum Machine. Here we take a look at the former to see if it’s a worthy addition to the line up and how it compares to the latter. Let’s get it!
The ATOM SQ has a more robust, durable build than it’s predecessor – not that the original Atom was a slouch at all. The body is firm and solid with no creaks or pops when you flex anywhere on the frame, the buttons are tight and the knobs are stiff. No wobbly or flimsy parts, PreSonus has done the Atom SQ justice – when picking up the device, placing it on your set up table and powering up the device it gives the impression it means business.
There are 32 velocity and pressure sensitive pads that are laid out like Roland’s TR-808 grooveboxes, yet the ATOM SQ goes a step further by incorporating an assignable multifunction touch strip. There are also two Octave buttons to the left of the pads. Transport controls occupy the left side of the controller’s panel, below eight assignable bank buttons.
The LCD screen is a crisp, Context-sensitive display, which gives visual info on parameter information,note repeat, swing, and much more.
ATOM SQ is tailor-made for PreSonus’ stellar DAW Studio One 5, offering tight integration and no mouse navigation of all parts of the interface, – including instruments and effects.
The Presonus Treatment
The ATOM SQ + Revelator Mic + Studio One 5 = All you really need
PreSonus also made sure the ATOM SQ has Ableton Live integration built-in, for control that’s just as extensive as it is with Studio One.
ATOM SQ is a shockingly impressive MIDI controller, that works with Studio One the way a standalone device does. Besides typing in the name of your song or session for the first time, you can create compositions with the SQ and Studio One (Ableton Live also) without touching your computer. And it works nearly as good out the box with apps like Cubasis and FL Studio Mobile on Android and iPhone/iPad. If you’re looking for a MIDI controller/ groove box styled instrument for more expressive control over the virtual instruments in your music production software – few are as versatile and fully featured as the ATOM SQ.