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.
Very important!!! under MCU mode please don’t forgot select MIDI IN and MIDI OUT to Elephant MIDI port, otherwise unexpected behaviours happens.
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! 🙂
This way of use Elephant not is supported officially, may or not work with your software, the original purpose of Elephant is work as a companion of your mouse/touchpad.
There is a full working trial version provided you can and should test before order the software.
Any computer with Windows® 10 Fall Creators or newer 64bits version.
A Surface Dial device paired to your computer.
User running as Administrator.
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
Elephant install in your desktop 2 icons:
Elephant software and the License Manager.
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.
Visit the forum in order to access to the changelog, touch here.