Livid Instruments is one of those companies everyone wishes they could work for. They area small operation in a hip town, are on the edge of the entertainment business- yet make quality products on the cutting edge of technology making MIDI controllers in a way that caters directly to their customers as much as possible. Sometimes, to a fault. Take the Livid Elements MIDI controller. Made with the same idea as Eurorack Modular Synths, in which users begin with an empty rack and fill it with universally fitting modules to suit their every musical whim in synthesis. Livid tried to recreate this idea with the modern MID controller, selling one or two tiered "blank" racks and a host of modules that would fit in, connect to power and a data line that fed MIDI and USB out of the case to act as one unified MIDI controller for programs like Ableton or Traktor. The modules had mixtures of different size faders, joysticks, many types and sizes of buttons, rotary and push encoders, external jacks for pedal input, LED feedback on most controls- and most modules were available with any combination of the options within a single section. A single tier case allowed for four different modules, while a dual tier case could have up to eight. The results were whatever the end user wished to have in a controller- and often the finished, custom "Elements" rack MIDI controllers looked chaotic at best, and messy at worst. Livid probably realized that even if a user wanted four huge arcade buttons, eight tiny faders and sixteen knobs- he didn't account for workflow use and mundane functions in every MIDI controller, like navigation and repetitive, boring tasks. The units were also sold, like Euroracks, a-la-carte, and were very expensive in the end, compared to the MIDI controller counterparts with similar function. Like all Livid products, the controllers were made by hand, in Texas, and extremely durable. Livid has a reputation of catering to each customer personally, and this time "Elements" went to far. The customer may think he knows what is best - but not everyone can design MIDI gear that looks good, makes sense and has intuitive play. The project flopped, and morphed into Livid selling the microcontroller that made all of the individual parts work together and export MIDI via USB- the "Brain" of Livid Elements, if you will. They names it "Brain" and continue to sell it as of Summer 2016. You can now buy "Brain" and make your own MIDI controller, but it is up to the user to supply (fabricate himself) the enclosure and all of the inputs like the faders, knobs, lights and buttons. There are still a lot of Elements units floating around that were designed and played by people and pros who really knew what they wanted out of a MIDI controller and designed themselves a useful auxiliary, if not primary controller. Personally, I use mine in conjunction with another Livid Controller designed by Richie Hawtin, the CNTRLR. My own Elements by livid offers me a dozen extra faders, six knobs, six push encoders, several large arcade buttons I use to control Ableton Looper (in the dark) and a 4x4 bank of LED back-lit rubber type buttons to manipulate Ableton drum racks within a Max for Live sequencer, in conjunction with my CNTRLR. My Livid Elements is an extremely useful auxiliary tool, as are all of my Livid products.