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”
Elephant was created with the purpose of offering the possibility of transform the Surface Dial in a powerful controller for DAWs and VSTs acting as a mouse complement. The great Elephant community already start to find and expand the usage beyond of music production.
Elephant software is quite easy to use, but it is really important read this guide to be able to use all the power of this little tool.
Download & Start
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.
Before run Elephant software ensure your Surface Dial is paired and working, press and hold the Surface Dial and check the surface dial native menu appear on your screen.
Now run Elephant software wait for initialization, then left mouse click the screen when the software indicate all is ready.
After run Elephant software don’t press and hold the dial, that action close Elephant software!
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, Adobe Premiere, and more! 🙂
Now open your DAW and or any VST, hover the mouse over object to be controlled, and turn the dial, you have instant control over any slider or knob, click the dial again to release the control.
Now, double click the dial or double press ESCAPE keyboard key, and the Elephant menu appear:
Now, you can turn the Surface Dial for select SENSITIVITY, and double click again the dial or double press ESCAPE keyboard key to hide the Elephant Menu and continue working.
Remember!! 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.
Elephant 1.6 provide access to some mouse and MIDI behaviors from keyboard hotkeys.
The original idea is use this with programmable buttons of gaming mouse anyway you can use with your keyboard.
VRT BUTTON: when this hotkey is activated, vertical mouse movement is active when rotate the dial.
HRZ BUTTON: is horizontal mouse mode.
KNB BUTTON: is knob mouse mode.
COM BUTTON: is combined mouse mode
SCR BUTTON: is scroll mouse mode.
Remember the dial operation can back or not to desired behavior related to “On Dial click Always return to”
Remember the Elephant can send up to 12 MIDI messages?
You can easily access to send that MIDI messages with hotkeys.
Sensitivity check boxes when are activated, override the dial sensitivity you select, in that way you can select different sensitivity per every MIDI button.
The green boxes related to sensitivity represent the sensitivity, where 1 represent fire one midi event/message per one degree rotation.
You can increase the number to more higher values.
Previous version of Elephant broken a very useful ability of native Surface Dial implementation, send hotkeys to your program, change volume, etc.
From version 1.9.1 you can send custom keystrokes to your software and also change volume with the Surface Dial.
This implementation include a new special mode not available on native implementation what is send a keystroke when direction of rotation change, this simple behaviour allow to simulate classic J K L on software like Adobe premiere, or map this key action to transport of DAWs, etc.
Important! sensitivity is expressed in decimal number equivalent to one pulse per degree rotation of dial. That mean, if you set sensitivity to 1 on full rotation you send in this case 360 key press emulations!!! Warning !! this can cause the software to be controlled react in really bad way!
Example: in Adobe Premiere J K L simulation is highly suggested use value around 20 or 22 otherwise the software really react in a wrong way, but if set left arrow and right arrow for scrub, is highly suggested setup to some value between 1 to 5, adobe premiere can handle that without trouble using arrow keys.
If found this “send keystrokes” feature useful the amount of keystrokes can be selected on Dial Rotation will be increased in the next version, please lave all your comments on the forum.
Note: send keystrokes require the app to be controlled is on focus.
Elephant allow to sent some basic but useful transport commands to DAWs and Video edition software trough Mackie protocol, all DAWs usually support Mackie Control Universal protocol (MCU). In the bellow picture you see example how access to MCU JOG mode (scrub) using the middle click of the mouse.
If enable play instead of scrub, Elephant send play/pause after you finish scrub and press/click the dial.
Please note when this mode is enabled BT1 is asinged to MCU JOg feture and can’t be used for any other MIDI function.
MCU jog mode also can be accessed trough hotkey BT1.
Arm record and separated play/stop can be accessed trough hotkeys.
Example Setup Mackie
For other software setup, please refer to the documentation of the software.
Using with touch screens
If want use with Reaktor and prevent that ugly jumps the video review created by Robin Vincent show, inside the Elephant config panel enable “touchpad/trackball” feature, that fix the issue on Reaktor and can use a touchscreen to tap on screen and then just control anything with the Dial.
On Studio one or any other software react in same way, you can tap/touch the object to be controlled, control the object with the dial, release the action clicking one time the dial then touch another object you want control. That is! 🙂
The only software wont should be used with a touch screen (at least for now) is VCV rack, we see if can be used with upcoming updated of VCV Rack.
Anyway, for VCV Racks there is a dedicated FREE touch software coming:
Any computer with Windows® 10 Fall Creators or newer.
A Surface Dial device paired to your computer.
Submit your feature request
Please submit your feature request, general comment or report any bug trough the Community Forum.
Before start interact with the forum, ensure setup your Forum profile after complete your login.
Activate the software
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.
Elephant v1.9.2 – 30-03-2019
Bug fix: some unexpected behaviours on mouse mode in vertical mode.
New feature: in all mouse modes the direction now can be inverted.
Elephant v1.9.1 – 17-03-2019
New feature: Elephant now can send custom hotkeys.
Bug fix: When Instant switch between modes when mode “On Dail Click Always Return To:” is disabled, hotkeys fire events when menu is open.- Fixed
Bug fix: Ultra higher amount of inconsistencies when switch from modes with hotkeys are now fixed.
Improvement: under scroll mode mouse pointer is now hidden.
New feature: TouchPad/Trackball is a new special mode to release Dial action when mouse is moved.
Some cosmetic fixes when enable MIDI only mode.
Elephant v1.8 – 1-02-2019
Bug fix: Knob mode, work in incorrect way -Fixed
Bug fix: On version 1.7, mouse in place on combined mode not start and user need select and unselect the option to enable mouse in place again – Fixed
Bug fix: The mystery X is removed.
New feature: Instant switch between modes when mode “On Dail Click Always Return To:” is disabled.
Elephant v1.7 – 25-01-2019
New feature: added disable mouse in place for combined mode
Elephant v1.6 – 15-01-2019
Bug fix: Under version 1.5 the double tap on dial under “direct mode” work erratically – Fixed.
Bug fix: After some hours of usage Elephant can crash – Fixed.
Bug fix: Elephant is unable to start when MIDI port is already in use by some already opened software with port in use. -Fixed
Improvement: duet the evolution of software now the system always work on direct mode, where if user want, is also is possible use the older mode, click and rotate the dial
Improvement: When click the dial, some times, the action not is un-released and have to click the Dial again, now work perfect.
Improvement: On mouse mode the response latency is lowered to ultra lower values.
Improvement: On mouse mode the control is now ultra accurate, now is possible obtain values superior than MIDI and ultra smooth response.
New features: Config panel, please read the documentation.
Elephant v1.5 – 15-12-2018
Improvement: Escape key, act as Surface Dial click.
New feature: Lock Mode, this mode make mouse action not disturb the Surface Dial control / operation.
Lock mode is mandatory mode for work with VCV Rack, and Reaper.
User guide updated, section direct mode.
Elephant v1.4 – 11-12-2018
Improvement: mouse pointer is hidden when control objects with the mouse/dial.
Improvement: All possible mouse modes are accessible trough a new menu.
New feature: Control any slider or knob with COM mode without switch form modes.
Also added scroll mode and in place mouse control for knobs.
All user guide is updated.
Preparing the software internals for the extender project:
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