Elephant User Guide

Introduction

HACK: In the era of modern technology, two new senses arose: One who writes computer programs as a hobby is a hacker and produces hacks, but the label also came to apply to one who illegally accesses a computer system. Hack also came to mean “creative solution to a computer problem,” so that, depending on context, a hacker may be benign or malicious. I’m not malicious lol…or maybe……..I can hack your computer! just kidding……but I can do……..just kidding again 🙂

There is no security risk involved on my APP Elephant, I think MS can take note of this hack and make available out of the box for the upcoming Surface Dial, a new device probably see the light next year.

About the upcoming dial: https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-patents-a-transparent-surface-dial/
I think they try to solve the occlusion issue of the current dial when you use the dial over the screen, but again is something focused on graphic artists, I be very happy if they feel inspired by my little APP, for sure will be a honor collab with they! 🙂 ……………. I know they never call lol.

Microsoft will close the door on this hack in the name of security?
Again, “There is no security risk involved on my APP Elephant”

Let’s get it started!

Getting Started

Please proceed to download the trial software but before try, read this user guide.

Before start… very important!!  after run Elephant software don’t press and hold the dial, that action close Elephant software!

Download Elephant click here

After download the software, just unpack the zip and install the software.

Elephant install in your desktop 2 icons:
Elephant software and the License Manager, ignore for now the license manager.

Run Elephant software, wait for initialization, then click the screen when the software indicate all is ready.

At this point Elephant is running and ready to take control of the world……..well, at least of your DAW, all your VSTs, Rack etxensions, the lovely VCV Rack, and more!  🙂
Now open your DAW and any VST,  left click over a knob with your mouse or laptop mouse pad, dont release the left click and turn the dial, that is! you have instant control over any slider or knob.

Click the dial and the Elephant software menu appear.

Now, you can turn the Surface Dial for select SENSITIVITY, and click again the dial for hide the Elephant Menu and continue working.

Press and hold the dial and the Elephant software close, if you do this, remember you need open again the software to operate with Elephant.

Menu, Mouse Mode

In the previous chapter, you already learned how simple is operate with Elephant software.
Now is time to learn all menu details in mouse mode, is the default mode anytime you run Elephant software.

When you click the Surface Dial the Elephant menu appear.
You can rotate the dial to access to  different levels of sensitivity, when level is selected just click again the dial and the menu be hidden.
Not all DAWs , VSTs and software in general offer the same sensitivity, I suggest try and test for check what levels are better for your common tasks.

Elephant by default can control all sliders in vertical position and knobs.
If you need control sliders located in horizontal position or a object respond to horizontal movements (left right), timeline, or some sliders/objects on VSTs, you need click with your mouse in the arrows symbols on the menu.

Now the menu show arrow symbols in horizontal position <>  and you can control any horizontal slider/object.

Click again the arrow symbols <> to return to default slider and knob behaviour.

In the next chapter, you learn about MIDI features available on Elephant software.

Menu, Direct Control Mode

With the release of Elephant 1.3 a new mode is available, Direct Control Mode, in simple words,  hover with your mouse and turn the dial for instant control of any knob or slider.
This mode is specially useful for work with the mouse or mouse pad (laptops) where hover the mouse and just turn the dial useful way to work.

Important!  don’t use yet this mode with VCV Rack, there are some unwanted behaviors to be solved. Fortunately VCV Rack is open source, I take a look in the code to find a solution as soon as possible.

Operation of Direct Mode with your mouse, laptop mouse pad:
You need enable direct mode, just click DIRECT OFF on the menu and direct mode will be activated.

Important!  when direct mode is activated, if you want access to the Elephant menu or hide, you need double click the Suface Dial.
This behavior is needed for use with touch-screens.

Now double click the Surface Dial to hide Elephant menu, hover the pointer of the mouse over a object (knob/slider )and turn the dial and you gain instant control.
For release the mouse, just click the Surface Dial or left click your mouse.

Note: is possible disable the Surface Dial double click behavior for show and hide the Elephant menu, please read chapter Custom Configuration. **

Touch-Screens and Direct Mode:
Use Elephant with a touchscreen is experimental, in some software can cause strange behaviors  is up to you use this mode and test, probably I can improve this mode later, but if you own a touchscreen there is a new project/software coming with a special focus on touchscreens.
The operation with a  touch-screen is very simple, just touch and release with your finger any object (knob/slider) you want control then turn the dial, for release the control, click your the surface dial, now you can proceed to touch any other object and repeat the cycle.
Remember!  touch and  release your finger >  turn the dial > click the dial to release the control action.

Menu, MIDI mode

Elephant software is being able to control in a natural way knobs and sliders without the need of MIDI mapping. Since in some cases the use of MIDI could be very useful, Elephant can connect the Surface Dial with your favorite music software trough MIDI using its own port….. yes, probably you already read this on the Elephant landing page.
Let’s explain now in detail how this work.

The first step in order to enable MIDI mode, is just click with your mouse or touch-screen MIDI OFF

That simple action disable the MOUSE mode, and activate the MIDI mode.

Now with MIDI mode activated, Elephant allow to connect the surface dial trough MIDI to your DAW.
Elephant software provide is own MIDI Virtual port, you no need install third party software, just open your software, go to MIDI section and you can find MIDI port named Elephant, that is the MIDI output of Elephant software.
Under MIDI mode, Elephant can send MIDI CC in mode 0 to 127 is the default mode, and also encoder mode, 7Fh/01h.
With the 6 colored circular buttons  you can click with your mouse on their and choose the 6 possible MIDI signals, for sure this can be expanded in the near future to enable more MIDI CCs, post in the forum your wish list 🙂
Under MIDI mode you can also change the sensitivity just rotating the dial.

Example of usage:

1- Click the Surface Dial, menu open, activate MIDI mode clicking MIDI OFF.
2- Click with your mouse on any colored circular button.
3- Then click the dial,Elephant menu be hidden, and rotate the dial…..now you are sending MIDI.
4- Open your DAW, activate Elephant MIDI port in your DAW,  map the incoming MIDI to some knob or slider.
5- Click the Surface Dial, choose your desired sensitivity, click again the dial in order to hide the menu and continue with your operation.

That is the basic MIDI operation, now you are controlling elements fo your DAW with MIDI and Surface Dial.

Encoder mode 7Fh/01h
The encoder is relative, is the perfect mode instead of  0-127 absolute mode, and also provide more accurate control.
In order to activate the mode, just click with your mouse text “0-127 MODE”  in the Elephant menu, that activate the mode 7Fh/01h
Check the documentation of your DAW or software about how use encoder mode and if is supported.
As an example, in Ableton , after map MIDI, you need select “Relative (lin 2’s Comp.)” otherwise, the configuration will not work, see image bellow:

DIAL SELECTOR
Dial selector mode allow to select the MIDI signal rotating the Surface Dial or you can use the mouse or touch-screen for select the buttons and hide the Elephant menu in one step.


X2 mode.

Now with the release of Elephant version 1.3 is possible duplicate 6 MIDI signals to 12, just enable x2 mode.

MIDI buttons enumeration.
Please read chapter Custom Configuration if you want activate buttons enumeration, and if you want setup custom MIDI channels / CC numbers.

Send MIDI to external MIDI device.
I no want make this guide super large, instructions for send MIDI to any external device is available in the forum.
https://hi.computer/forum-community/troubleshooting/sending-midi-to-external-device/#post-16

Custom Configuration

With the release of Elephant 1.3 a little config file is available now.
Is a simple txt file include parameters you can setup to customize the software, to edit the file all what you need is open the config file with Notepad.
Ensure you run Notepad as admin. (in the task bar type on the search box notepad, right click notepad and run as admin)
File is located in this path: C:\Program Files (x86)\HI!computer\Elephant

By default, file look like this:

<Config>
<DirectMode>0</DirectMode>
<DirectModeMouseOnly>0</DirectModeMouseOnly>
<DefaultSensitivity>4</DefaultSensitivity>
<MIDIModeDefault>0</MIDIModeDefault>
<HideButtonsNumbers>1</HideButtonsNumbers>
<MIDIEncoderMode>1</MIDIEncoderMode>
<MIDIMode3Fh_41h>Not implemented in this version</MIDIMode3Fh_41h>
<ButtonMIDI1Channel>1</ButtonMIDI1Channel>
<ButtonMIDI2Channel>2</ButtonMIDI2Channel>
<ButtonMIDI3Channel>3</ButtonMIDI3Channel>
<ButtonMIDI4Channel>4</ButtonMIDI4Channel>
<ButtonMIDI5Channel>5</ButtonMIDI5Channel>
<ButtonMIDI6Channel>6</ButtonMIDI6Channel>
<ButtonMIDI7Channel>7</ButtonMIDI7Channel>
<ButtonMIDI8Channel>8</ButtonMIDI8Channel>
<ButtonMIDI9Channel>9</ButtonMIDI9Channel>
<ButtonMIDI10Channel>10</ButtonMIDI10Channel>
<ButtonMIDI11Channel>11</ButtonMIDI11Channel>
<ButtonMIDI12Channel>12</ButtonMIDI12Channel>
<ButtonMIDI1CCNumber>10</ButtonMIDI1CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI2CCNumber>20</ButtonMIDI2CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI3CCNumber>30</ButtonMIDI3CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI4CCNumber>40</ButtonMIDI4CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI5CCNumber>50</ButtonMIDI5CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI6CCNumber>60</ButtonMIDI6CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI7CCNumber>70</ButtonMIDI7CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI8CCNumber>80</ButtonMIDI8CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI9CCNumber>90</ButtonMIDI9CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI10CCNumber>100</ButtonMIDI10CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI11CCNumber>110</ButtonMIDI11CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI12CCNumber>120</ButtonMIDI12CCNumber>
</Config>

 

Parameters:

<DirectMode>0</DirectMode>
Change 0 to to 1   and Elephant software start always in Direct Control Mode.

<DirectModeMouseOnly>0</DirectModeMouseOnly>
** Change 0 to 1 , release the mouse with the Surface Dial behavior will be disabled, now you can just release with a mouse click only.
Elephant menu is accesible with Surface Dial simple click when this mode is configured to 1
For use with touch screens this parameter need remain configured in 0 and not in 1

<DefaultSensitivity>4</DefaultSensitivity>
You can choose the default sensitivity value every time Elephant software start,  possible ranges 1 to 7.

<MIDIModeDefault>0</MIDIModeDefault>
Set to 1  and  Elephant sofware start in MIDI mode as default.

<HideButtonsNumbers>1</HideButtonsNumbers>
Set to 0  and  MIDI buttons will be enumerated.

<MIDIEncoderMode>1</MIDIEncoderMode>
Set to 0 Elephant sofware start in encoder mode as default.

<MIDIMode3Fh_41h>Not implemented in this version</MIDIMode3Fh_41h>
Just not implemented yet.

Selection of custom MIDI channels and CC:

<ButtonMIDI1Channel>1</ButtonMIDI1Channel>
<ButtonMIDI2Channel>2</ButtonMIDI2Channel>
<ButtonMIDI3Channel>3</ButtonMIDI3Channel>
<ButtonMIDI4Channel>4</ButtonMIDI4Channel>
<ButtonMIDI5Channel>5</ButtonMIDI5Channel>
<ButtonMIDI6Channel>6</ButtonMIDI6Channel>
<ButtonMIDI7Channel>7</ButtonMIDI7Channel>
<ButtonMIDI8Channel>8</ButtonMIDI8Channel>
<ButtonMIDI9Channel>9</ButtonMIDI9Channel>
<ButtonMIDI10Channel>10</ButtonMIDI10Channel>
<ButtonMIDI11Channel>11</ButtonMIDI11Channel>
<ButtonMIDI12Channel>12</ButtonMIDI12Channel>

This parameters change the MIDI channel per button,  range 1 to 16 (channel 1 to 16)

<ButtonMIDI1CCNumber>10</ButtonMIDI1CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI2CCNumber>20</ButtonMIDI2CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI3CCNumber>30</ButtonMIDI3CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI4CCNumber>40</ButtonMIDI4CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI5CCNumber>50</ButtonMIDI5CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI6CCNumber>60</ButtonMIDI6CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI7CCNumber>70</ButtonMIDI7CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI8CCNumber>80</ButtonMIDI8CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI9CCNumber>90</ButtonMIDI9CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI10CCNumber>100</ButtonMIDI10CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI11CCNumber>110</ButtonMIDI11CCNumber>
<ButtonMIDI12CCNumber>120</ButtonMIDI12CCNumber>

With this parameters change MIDI CC of any button to send custom MIDI CC number, range 0 to 127

Changes will take effect when you open the software again.

Activate the software

If you are reading this, you have probably already purchased the Elephant software. Thank you!

In order to activate the software, after completing your order, just open the License Manager, enter your user and password. Remember you have created your user and password when you completed you order.
Not remember what is your user and pass? Do not worry, you can recover it at any time
Click here to recover your user and password.
Internet connection is required in order to activate the software.

 

System requirements

Any  computer with Windows® 10 Fall Creators or newer.
A Surface Dial device paired to your computer.
In case you not own a Surface Dial, here the best price for Surface Dial:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews/microsoft-surface-dial-magnesium/5678500
Also take a look in ebay site, etc.

 

Changelog

Elephant v1.3 – 5-09-2018
Improvement:  better sensitivity and accuracy in mouse mode.
Improvement: 6 MIDI  signals increased to 12.
Improvement: initial support for touch-screen.
Improvement: configurable MIDI channels and CC per MIDI signal.
New feature:  hover your mouse and control (Direct Control mode).

Elephant v1.2 – 24-08-2018
Bug fix: under some scenarios mouse pointer disappear, requiring user click on screen to make pointer be visible again – 100% fixed.

Elephant v1.1 – 19-08-2018
Bug fix: some antivirus report Elephant software contain virus – 100% Fixed.
Improvement: the software run in single instance mode, preventing multiple instances of software be opened by mistake.

Elephant v1.0 – 18-08-2018
First release.

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