PreSonus Blog

Control Ableton as a ReWire Client with ATOM SQ


It’s not surprising a lot of Studio One users also have Ableton Live, because they’re quite different. I’ve always felt Studio One is a pro recording studio (with a helluva backline) disguised as software, while Ableton is a live performance instrument disguised as software.

Fortunately, if you like working simultaneously with Live’s loops and scenes and Studio One’s rich feature set, Studio One can host Live as a ReWire client. Even better, ATOM SQ can provide full native integration with Ableton Live when it’s ReWired as a client—once you know how to set up the MIDI ins and outs for both programs.

Studio One Setup

  1. Under Options > Advanced > Services, make sure ReWire Support is enabled.
  2. Insert Ableton Live (from Instruments > ReWire). Click “Open Application” in the dialog box, but if Live won’t open (it doesn’t for me), open Live manually. Note that Live must be version 10.1.15 or higher.
  3. In Studio One, go Options > External Devices. Click on ATOM SQ, and then click on Edit.
  4. Select None for both Receive From and Send To. Click OK, then click OK again to leave the Options menu.
  5. In the ReWire track, set the MIDI input to ATOM SQ so that ATOM SQ’s knobs can control Ableton Live.

Ableton Live Setup

  1. Choose Options > Preferences > Link MIDI tab.
  2. Set the MIDI and Ports connections as shown.

Now ATOM SQ will act as an integrated controller with Ableton Live while it’s ReWired into Studio One. Cool, eh?

Returning to Studio One

To return control to Studio One, reverse the process—in Live, set Control Surface to None, and toggle the MIDI Ports that relate to ATOM SQ from On to Off. In Studio One’s Options > External Devices, For ATOM SQ, reconnect ATOM SQ to Receive From and Send To.

Note that with ATOM SQ controlling Studio One, the Transport function still controls both Live and Studio One. Also, if Live has the focus, any QWERTY keyboard assignments for triggering Clips and Scenes remain valid. So even while using ATOM SQ in the native mode for Studio One, you can still trigger different Clip and Scenes in Live. If you switch the focus back to Studio One, then any QWERTY keyboard shortcuts will trigger their assigned Studio One shortcuts.

Note: When switching back and forth between Live and Studio One, and enabling/disabling Studio One and Ableton Live modes for ATOM SQ, to return to Live you may need to “refresh” Live’s Preferences settings. Choose None for the Control Surface and then re-select ATOM SQ. Next, turn the various MIDI Port options off and on again.


Learn more about the ATOM SQ here!


  • jake hobbs

    Again, no luck. Both running in administrative privilege and still no joy. Many thanks to you for taking the time to address my issues.

  • Craig Anderton

    Hey, I really appreciate the follow-up! Check out this article from the Ableton site. It may be something as simple as opening up both Studio One and Ableton Live Lite in Administrator mode, or on the Mac, entering the Admin password.

  • jake hobbs

    Hi Craig. Sorry for the delay in replying. TL;DR, didn’t work.

    I found an update for Ableton and installed it. Then I disabled Rewire and closed Studio One, then I opened S1 and restarted the Rewire service.

    No change to report. Ableton gets discovered on start up, the same as other previously mentioned Rewire devices. However, Ableton still doesn’t show under Rewire Instruments. I did mention it in the Answers forum, and via a ticket in April (ish). No response or solution was forthcoming. Perhaps it’s the Lite version, perhaps not. At this point I am not all that concerned for my own work. VI’s are secondary / tertiary inputs.

  • Craig Anderton

    A couple things…in S1 V5 Pro, go to Options > Advanced > Services > ReWire Support and make sure it’s enabled. Also make sure you have the latest version of Ableton Live Lite, there may be an update since when the license was first generated by Ableton. Hope this helps. If not, I’ll install the Lite version and see what happens.

  • jake hobbs

    Ableton Live Lite (aka the free version given with the SQ) doesn’t show as available under “Rewire Devices”) in S1 V5 Pro (latest build), even though it’s recognised when you load Studio One.

    Ableton haven’t replied to my support request (months ago), as it seems that they don’t offer support to owners of Live Lite. (Nightmare!)

    Even more peculiar is the fact that Reason Lite, Reaper and Notion work as expected via Rewire, and are listed as Rewire devices. So, it’s almost certainly something to do with Live Lite, in my opinion.