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I converted to Studio One in 2017 after Cakewalk was dumped by Gibson and the Sonar product was bought by BandCamp. Since then I have heavily bought into the Presonus ecosystem, with a StudioLive III 32 channel console, a Faderport and a Monitor Station. I was very excited to learn that the Atom was coming, and the delay between pre-ordering (in September) and delivery (late November) was excruciating!
Now, given that I have the other Presonus toys, a lot of what the Atom offers is duplicated (eg transport controls) but there is so much more to the Atom. The integration with Studio One is fantastic (I use v4 Pro). At the moment I am pretty much using it solely to knock out beats so I have barely scratched the surface, but I'm working my way through various tutorials (Jonny Geib's are great) and in time I can see this being an important part of my project studio. I reckon I could now produce a song without touching the mouse more than a few times. That said, having used DAWs for well over 20 years now, I still find myself instinctively reaching for the mouse! Hopefully this old dog can be retrained.
I'll write a more detailed review when I am more familiar with the Atom's functions.
So far my experience with this has been very positive. As a user of Studio One, and the ATOM being very much focused to it, it worked straight out of the box. No messing around, just plug it in and fire up Studio One. A bit inconsistent on focus sometimes, and I wouldn't bother with the keyboard function - get a dedicated keyboard controller if that is what you're after, but it does work if all you want is something simple to jam with. The encoders are fine, but a bit of a pain with non-Studio One instruments and effects. It is a little expensive, and would have been nice if Presonus offered a unit at a slightly cheaper price for those that already have their (great, btw) Studio One. That said, if you want to get started with bedroom producing, and it's your first foray into spending some money on the hobby and haven't quite settled for your DAW of choice, I do recommend this - not only a decently built controller, but a nice starting point with Studio One Artist. One thing though; you will quickly outgrow Artist - its lack of VST support out of the box is something to keep in mind (you can buy an add-on to enable this, but at that point, you may as well go for their Pro option, which makes the included Artist moot).
Having gone through Maschine Studio and Mikros in use within Studio One now very happy with the Atom NI changes were annoying however still use Battery and Komplete and Maschine software if necessary but find the Atom much more easier. Solid build quality and prefer its format. Absolute recommendation for S1 users and great for a new user who does not have a daw yet. Although the artist license is naff for anybody already using S1 Right now the Pro upgrade is £99 at Scan making this an absolute no brainer if you do not have Studio One 4 and want to step into it.
Wanted the software so this felt like a free item as not much difference in price so a no brainer. Now I have had a little mess around with it I feel I could use it to put radio jingles together and have a bit of fun. I don't make music, but have created a few beats for a laugh. I normally use Audition so a bit of a learning curve as there is hardware and software to deal with hence 4 stars for ease of use but that would probably not be the case for Studio one users. Seems to be very well made and would be a great tool for the target audience. I would still say for the money it will be worth a play with as it is a lot of fun and in the 20 hours I have had it I have only made one jingle as too distracted making drum beats!
The controller itself is excellent. Pads are very nice to use and very responsive. I had a Maschine Mikro Mk3 and this easily beats the pads on that.
The claim of ableton integration bothers me though. The transport controls are fine, so you can play and stop etc. Theres even the option to change scenes and solo tracks but half the buttons on the controller are unlit and do not work with ableton. You also have to use unrelated buttons to control functions, for example using "note repeat" to make the pads work as a drum pad. Full level does something else (cant remember what) so there is no full level option.
The Atom is a complex beast. On the surface, just some nice drum pads in a solid housing but a few months later, I have discovered that I can operate Studio One with very little if any mouse useage. Also less time spent staring at the screen and more learning to use my ears again. Very tactile experience and huge improvement from being a slave to the mouse. Highly recommended.
you can use this amazing device in so many ways and within a few hours use it becomes invaluable. I use mine along with mouse and a 1 octave keyboard, using the atom for drum programming and DAW shortcuts. Being able to quickly open VST instruments, add tracks/patterns, duplicate, undo, set loops, zoom etc etc ... all by the touch of a button has really improved my workflow. With a bit of practice you can write and edit a whole song without touching the mouse/keyb (if you were that way inclined) Get one, watch the training videos at presonus.com and enjoy !
Beware!! If you buy one of these from the Amazon Warehouse it does not have the software and its not mentioned in the description.
I've just bought one of these in the Amazon Warehouse (described as used like new), but it does not include the software as stated. When i contacted Amazon technical support they said that the previous owner must have registered it so there was nothing they could do.
I asked for a replacement, but they are refusing and will only accept a return (i'm guessing so that they can sell it on to another unsuspecting customer)
I'd love to review the item properly, as i've heard good things about Presonus, but without the software its just an expensive plastic box with knobs on!
Brilliant for use with the DAW Presonus studio one, I use the sphere version and pay monthly. You can use it with other daws, but it interacts better with studio one. One drawback is there’s no loop button, but this has a work around, as you can loop in studio one. The button are rubber, and touch sensitive. Everything works as it should. 👍🏻😎 glad I got one… great for shortcuts as well.