PreSonus isn’t really known for their MIDI controllers, but the company is looking to change that as it pushes its new DAW (digital audio workstation) Studio One 5. This week, PreSonus announced the Atom SQ, a performance and production MIDI controller built to integrate with Studio One and Ableton Live. The company likely hopes that Studio One will drive users to its Atom SQ and vice versa.
Atom SQ is designed for both TR-style 16-step beat sequencing and drum pattern editing in Studio One. It can play instruments and launch clips in Ableton Live, too. The RGB-backlit 32-pad configuration will look familiar if you’ve used a MIDI. There’s also eight endless rotary knobs, an arpeggiator and a user-configurable touch strip. An LCD screen displays context-sensitive information and parameters.
PreSonus hasn’t announced a release date, but when the Atom SQ arrives, it will cost $250/£250.
PreSonus’s strategy -- making hardware to drive people to its software -- isn’t totally original. Ableton and Pro Tools have their own dedicated hardware controllers, and FL Studio launched the Akai Professional Fire in 2018. We haven’t gotten our hands on the Atom SQ yet, but it looks promising.