Questions & Answers

Nektar Aura vs Presonus ATOM

+1 vote
asked Apr 27, 2021 in Studio One 4 by neilweir-smith (190 points)

Been looking into a MIDI controller mostly for tracking drums and some workflow options.  I have come across the Nektar Aura and Presonus ATOM and wondering which you guys would recommend.  The Aura is more expensive but also seems to do a lot more.  Both claim deep integration with Studio One, although I can't find Nektar natively in Studio One (obviously the ATOM is).

Thoughts, any other devices I may be missing in the same kind of price bracket?  Don't really want to spend more than the Aura.  Also open to keyboard suggestions, I was looking into keyboard options but moved to these two as I don't play keys and not sure if I'll ever make use of the keyboard functions (I play metal mostly).


3 Answers

0 votes
answered Apr 28, 2021 by aka_busker (32,890 points)
Hi there.

I have been struggling not to just say "buy the Atom Sq" and be done.  I use both Atoms regularly and the advantage they have over other controllers is that they are both automatically mapped and do not require any set-up.  

Other midi controllers I have are varied, easily set up too.  Due to the way that midi is mapped in Studio One you can use any controller and then link almost any control.  You can have "global" and  "focussed" set-ups that work differently depending on which plugin or instrument you are using at the time.  My Roland A800 Pro Keyboard is set-up to control Mai Tai, Presence and Sample one differently depending on what I am using.  

If you are planning on programming patterns then the Atom SQ is really good for sequencing.  If you want to perform you drum parts with your fingers then the original Atom is styled like a lot of MPC controllers.  A 4x4 grid, 8 banks, giving you 64 options.  Velocity sensitive.  

There are too many options to do more than suggest the Atom SQ or OG Atom.   The MPC style of controller is full of options at all price points.  Especially around the £200/ $200 price mark.  The Atom SQ is tough to beat if you only plan on using it when using Studio One.

However the caveat for my opinions are based on the fact that I only use Studio One for production.
+1 vote
answered Apr 29, 2021 by neilweir-smith (190 points)
Thanks aka_busker, I didn't even know about the ATOM SQ.  Had a look into it and yeah I get where you are coming from and am sold.  I use solely Studio One and at home.  So I am only going to use the device for Studio One workflows (to make my life a little easier) and for programming drums, don't really need anything else.

Really think this looks like the one, if anyone else has any input I am still open to hear it.  Otherwise, off to the shops for me. :)
0 votes
answered Apr 29, 2021 by aka_busker (32,890 points)
Yeah Man, welcome.  No problem.  Good luck.  The Atom SQ really is a solid piece of kit.  Transport controls, macro support, drum programming.  I own both Atoms but use my SQ more often than the o.g. Atom due to it's macros.