Now here's a curious application! It's a fusion of a video editor and a presentation creator not too dissimilar from the likes of PowerPoint. So, what's it all about? Let's take a look...
Could it be that MAGIX is underselling Photostory Deluxe by touting it as a grand slideshow creator that utilizes photos, video and audio?
In this Digital Age some of us make it an everyday practice to document life in the form of photos and videos, Photostory Deluxe 2018 enables the user to put these digital memories into a greater context. You can add sublime transitions and sound effects as well as a musical soundtrack complete with a voiceover to your slideshows! This is great as many of us can do something with the endless material shot on our smartphones each day! However, MAGIX has, in my humble opinion, undersold Photostory Deluxe 2018. Here's why…
MALLEABILITY Aside from being able to create super-enhanced slideshows for family and friends, Photostory Deluxe 2018 can do more… Much more! For your YouTube creators, some truly outstanding intros and outros can be created to give videos a professional look as you'd see with established broadcast companies. With a bit of effort one can achieve stunning animated and still graphical overlays to rival TV production values. How about creating adverts for kiosks or public TV monitors? Easy! Mix videos and stills, add titles/text to get the message across. I don't know if you watch these non-interactive kiosk/monitor ads or information videos, but they look as though they've been created with a PowerPoint-like application. With Photostory Deluxe it'll save time and money to produce such materials because one wouldn't have to hire a production company, or invest into a substandard presentation application that produces jerky glitchy results. Sure, if one wanted to add some interaction then a multimedia presentation application is required and the costs can vary, then time will be spent in learning how to use it. That said, depending on the desired goal, you give the recipient options and the message can get lost in a myriad of interactions. Video tuition materials, Photostory can lend itself to the production of video tutorials on just about anything! And, of course, a video story book to tell stories aimed at children for another example of the scope that Photostory has. What's more is that whatever is created can be burned on DVD or Blu-ray and/or placed on a USB stick! IT'S MAGIX
Photostory Deluxe 2018 has a logical interface, you can't go wrong. If you happen to use other MAGIX applications then you'll be in familiar territory. I can't find fault in the interface and the way the application works.
However, I can't help but to be intrigued to imagine MAGIX taking things a step further by adding interactive elements that the user can program into a slideshow thus creating a rival to PowerPoint! And what if apps for Android and iOS can be produced without programming? These are certainly things to think about! CONCLUSION
At the sub £40 price point Photostory Deluxe 2018 is a steal! You're getting the best parts of a video editor and slideshow maker to form something more cohesive, and definitely without distribution restrictions that plague some multimedia applications by having to ask the user to download the proprietary player before the medium can be viewed. The recipient just wants to press play and enjoy - it's what makes YouTube riveting!
MAGIX Photostory Deluxe 2018 has a so much going for it to be overlooked. I think it's a must have even if you have a dedicated video editor because it allows for a fast and precise generation of content within its small but vast framework. Most certainly, MAGIX Photostory Deluxe can act as a prototyping tool to flesh out the nuances of a TV/YouTube show format. I can easily recommend Photostory Deluxe 2018 to newbie YouTube creators as a very, very cost effective means of video production. All the YouTube newbie would need in addition is a decent smartphone capable of up to 4k video recording, and a pretty decent PC. Now, who hasn't got such hardware already? Get MAGIX Photostory Deluxe and start producing content NOW! SCORE
MAGIX Photostory Deluxe 2018 scores an Electrochemy Platinum!
AUSLOGICS BOOSTSPEED 9.2 £39.95 System tools can be a hit or miss and, for, unfortunately, they have been mainly misses. Years ago I used Norton’s system cleaning tools and it made my PC worse! No kidding or a deliberate attack on Norton tools, that was my experience. As a result, I have been very skeptical about system optimization software. As you can imagine, I was pretty skeptical about Auslogics BootSpeed 9! The installation was pleasantly easy, and that’s always a good sign. What’s not such a good sign is how my ‘C’ drive is full already and there’s hardly anything on it! SUITE I am presented with a suite of optimization tools are that are easy to understand and put to use. Remarkably, I was not in any doubt of accidentally ridding my PC of files that could cause it malfunction as it was the case with the Norton system tools. Once again, I have nothing against Norton system tools and I would test its optimization software again should the opportunity arise. On a basic level, I managed to save over 1 GB worth of unwanted files in one click! And I am delighted to have the option to address issues of privacy - it’s so good to know that I can stop tracking cookies! I can also tweak Windows 10 and clean up my browsers. VERDICT Iam very, very impressed with the Auslogics BootSpeed 9 as it does what it says it can do without a fuss! I am in control of what I optimize, which is always a good thing! I can leave BootSpeed 9 running in the background without noticing it. I would not hesitate to recommend BootSpeed 9 for Windows users - especially non-technical users. You can purchase this great system optimizer directly from the Auslogics site: https://www.auslogics.com SCORE Auslogics BootSpeed 9 scores a well deserved Electrochemy Platinum!
Over the years I've seen many beginner friendly digital audio workstations fall by the wayside. Cost effective DAWs have stopped making waves. Let's find out why Music Maker Premium has stood the test of time...
This 2018 version feels reassuringly stable, interface pixel residue is now a thing of the past, it feels like a DAW for ambitious musicians. Music Maker Premium has arrived with style!
Testing further, some serious VST Instruments and effects were accessed through the interface and they presented no problem whatsoever. Sugar Bytes Factory, Cyclop and Looperator worked flawlessly! What will crash any solid DAW is poorly programmed free VSTs that can be found on various websites, MMP 2018 handled a lot of them well - I've amassed quite a collection over the years and a majority of them worked fine. Note hang is problematic on a few of these free synthesizers; you stop the track and the note or notes continues to sound. I found that when I had an issue with hanging notes it could be solved by stopping and starting the track several times. But MMP 2018 didn't crash! Or I had to switch the preset to another one, which tells me that there could be a fix by reducing the envelope parameters such as sustain (of the presets).
So, you can use these free VSTs at a small risk that some could cause MMP 2018 to not function properly.
Oh, the one thing to be aware of is that VST Instruments with separate outputs won't work! You'll need another type of DAW that's aimed at professionals such as Music Maker's mothership, Samplitude X3. The VST Instrument in question happened to be a drum synth, but it's not a deal breaker as MAGIX provides built-in drum synthesizers such as the great sounding Drum Engine!
SYNTH & EFFECTS
There's a great range of synthesizers and effects that comes as part of the package. With the instruments, you get to choose what's relevant for you, and there's an option to purchase more directly from the interface but they are unique to MMP 2018. Gone are the BeatBox and Robota drum machines, which is a shame as they were truly great. You could use your own samples to form some amazing custom kits in BeatBox! On the plus side you get Ozone Elements by iZotope, which adds to the mastering capabilities!
The Soundpool is the MAGIX equivalent to sample loop vendors online. It seems that sample loop optical discs are a relic of yesteryear! MMP 2018 delivers one heck of an uppercut to the competition! You see, with many sample loop/beat vendors you'll find that many “collections” are sparse and incomplete - especially the ones from name producers/DJs/musicians. Not so with MAGIX Soundpools as they are the building blocks that can create enumerate tracks! Like the Instruments, the loops are varied from genre to genre: modern Electronic, Soul, Jazz, Funk, Classical, etc.
MMP 2018 has been executed with aplomb! There were no loose ends to speak of as with past versions. The little niggles that made MMP a little frustrating to work with are gone. The main offender we the interface hanging on the screen and some of the built-in instruments freezing and bleeding sound to the point where I'd have to reboot.
Please bring back the BeatBox and Robota drum machines. Maybe it's time to update the mixer? I'm thinking more tone options: high, mid, low and sub. Plus some automation on the controls. Please allow for separate outputs on VSTs.
I think that's it!
MAGIX Music Maker Premium 2018 has finally reached an irrefutable professionalism by cleaning up the interface and embracing the Internet as part of it. This is a great leap forward for the MMP concept. There is no other competing DAWs at the moment at this great for beginners yet very good for professionals level.
Videographers will find MMP 2018 an absolute must have for soundtrack creation.
DJs can create original mixes, sets and so on.
Music Maker Premium 2018 is truly the business and scores an Electrochemy Platinum! Well done MAGIX!
That’s a good question… What the heck is going on with Electrochemy TV these days, huh??? Well, for the past couple of years I have been dealing all sorts of issues from institutions that are supposed to have impeccable filing systems. I have had to contend with bunch of real incompetent people, I’ve never witnessed anything like this before… People in important positions are actually proud of being utterly dumb! These people revel in being totally unhelpful! It is unreal! Yes, the Tax Office is a pain in the ass!
GOOGLE/YOUTUBE If it’s not one thing, it’s the other! Now, YouTube has stopped monetizing the Electrochemy TV channel! I have tried communicating with Google/YouTube to no avail. Monetization is essential in order to keep the channel going! Creating videos is a huge task and in order to produce programmes on a full-time basis monetization is essential! IN THE MEANTIME Electrochemy TV will continue with reviews and Free VST instruments and effects! In the meantime, I will look for an alternative to YouTube! Stay tuned!
Designer Pro X 365 is the equivalent of Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign and Dreamwaver all in one! It's been awhile since I've looked at Xara Designer Pro X. Here’s the last review to refresh your minds… https://youtu.be/UI93g9vNQno?t=34m24s
Let's check it out…
From previous reviews, I'm now very used to the Xara Designer Pro X interface; there are quite a few Adobe alternatives on the market that emulate the interfaces that we are so used to. Designer Pro X takes a slightly different approach (where the interface is concerned); that said, it doesn’t take long to become familiar with basics. As a result there’s no need to consult with the manual and/or tutorial materials (for the most part). Plus, I am used to Xara’s other software such as Web Designer Premium, Photo & Graphic Designer and Page & Layout Designer. In fact, the applications mentioned above are combined to form Designer Pro X.
Rest assured that there are great tutorial materials that can be easily accessed via the “Help” menu. MOVE OVER ADOBE? One thing is clear: Adobe’s domination of professional design software is pretty much over. Xara has created such a powerful DTP software that easily rivals what Adobe software can do - with the exception of creating Digital Documents enhanced with multimedia such as audio and video files. If you imported a video file into a document and output it to a PDF then the video is converted into a image file. However, you can export that same document to the HTML format e.g. a web page! So, there are ways to create Digital Documents… It would have been something if Designer Pro X 365 could have created an exe file from documents that would run in a similar way to PowerPoint. It can be done! Better still, why not create executables that can run on iOS and Android devices? SO, WHAT’S NEW? The massive Design Gallery that used to come with previous versions of Designer Pro X is now an online catalogue. This is such a good idea! This means that there’s more space on your hard drive for storage. You have access to to a wide range of templates for websites, presentations, business printed materials such as business cards, letter heads, etc, and clipart for free! The range is staggering! There are beautiful designs that await modifying! Designer Pro X is very easy to get to grips with; the templates serve as great lessons in design. Websites If you are creating websites you have a selection of scrolling effects and animation to enhance the site pages. This reminds me of Dynamic HTML when Dreamweaver was first introduced; the results are stunning. It is now possible to have slides that span the screen. What I would have appreciated in the area of web design is the ability to add small videos as backgrounds. That would have been the triple chocolate icing on that cake! I am going to cover the Xara Web Designer Premium separately. Photo & Graphic Design There are some new blend, saturation and filter effects. The Magnetic Lasso has been enhanced for accuracy to make cutting out an object from the background even easier than before. POST ADOBE SUBSCRIPTIONS As you may know, Adobe does not sell its applications as a downloadable that you own outright. Adobe has a monthly rental system going on… Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, InDesign and Experience Design (Beta) for a whopping £50 per month! Premiere Pro aside, that’s £600 per year and you don’t own any of it! Whereas you will pay only £199 for the equivalent with Xara Designer Pro X. Just add £55 and you have MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Premium. That’s £254 in total! MAGIX is an affiliate of Xara.
You will most likely find that Xara Designer Pro X is perfect for this Digital Era; it’s about a good website, downloadable PDF files, video and Social Media these days and Designer Pro X does it all - barring the video side of things in terms of content creation. Naturally, you are able to import video and audio files into web pages created in Designer Pro X. Again, what would be a boon to Designer Pro X is a multimedia component to the suite.
FAST 'N' EZ
Above: What you are looking at is an A5 flyer that took seconds to create. Sure, it's not the best flyer you have ever seen, but I put this together so very quickly. To start with I created an A5 document, from there I looked on the built-in Online Catalogue for some Stock Photos (as found above when searching for "electronic music"), I made the arrangements of the photos as you can see, and I drew a line and coloured it red.
At this point, Designer Pro X does not know that it's a document meant for print; I could export this page to HTML (web page). I was able to preview the page within the web browser element of the program.
I then exported to the TIFF format - a very popular format with professional printing bureaus. Oh, you should also know that JPEG files are very commonly used these days... From there, I bumped up the DPI (dots per inch) value from 96 dpi to 300 dpi, which is the standard for professional printing. The CYMK colour value was present as default, and the TIFF export was complete. Easy! Another popular format for professional print shops is the mighty versatile PDF format.
Note: I almost forgot to mention that you can set up a standard 3 mm bleed so that images bleed off the page thus when the flyer is cut into A5 from a larger sheet there are no unwanted white spaces. The flyer is printed and finished cleanly. Gone are the days when you had to purchase a highly expensive DTP program just for simple print jobs. Or worse still, resort to using a pirate software.
CONCLUSION Xara Designer Pro X is a cost-effective way to start a design production house from your CD artwork (if you happen to make Electronic music and printing up your own CDRs), online shop (forget bloody iTunes), flyers for your gigs, t-shirt designs, and so on. With the money saved you can purchase any one of Xara/MAGIX video editing products and you will have the whole suite! Perhaps future generations of Designer Pro X will have a video editor as part of the suite. This is the Web Video Age. SCORE
Xara Designer Pro 365 scores a well deserved Electrochemy Platinum!
And we are back… Here we are going to concentrate solely upon Web Designer Premium 365 as a stand alone product.
Above: What you are looking at is Responsive Web Design. On top you have the desktop version of the music studio site and on the bottom, we have the mobile version.
If you read the review on Xara Designer Pro X 365 you will know pretty much what it can do already… Especially if you have seen the Electrochemy TV review: https://youtu.be/f-koWYJW9TE?t=36m22s
Do you remember the concept of Dynamic HTML? Well, basically DHTML was introduced with the release of the Dreamweaver web design application when it was owned by Macromedia. Dreamweaver brought HTML animation to the table and it looked great - only on specific web browsers. That was the caveat. Thankfully, HTML5 is a standard that spans across the different web browsers and Xara Web Designer Premium 365 makes use of that standard to produce compatible websites that look and perform the same in different browsers.
We have some great animations that activates upon reveal. In addition there are wonderful scrolling animations, slideshows that span the width of the page, objects that stick to the top upon scrolling, and parallax scrolling effects. The content library is now online as opposed to being a hefty part of the application. The content library is called the Online Content Catalog and it is awesome! The Online Catalog features wonderful website templates for just about every user from hobby to community to business in most areas such as the creative arts such as music! In addition there is a wealth of photos and clipart to help decorate the content. We now have Smart Shapes that aren’t quite info graphics but they can come in handy for expressing data such as percentages, growth, etc. Photo Grids is a great way to arrange and display photos on a page. And while we’re on the subject of photos, there are some new developments that include new filters and handling which is always welcome! There’s also some new Social Media Widgets - one of the best is the inclusion of Google Forms. Forms, as you might have experienced, can be bothersome - especially the way in which forms are processed… PHP can produce a very good way of handling forms but if you don’t know what you are doing it takes just one error in the syntax and the form is ruined. Google Forms takes all the grunt work out of form processing.
Another aspect of the Online Content Catalog is the template graphics for a YouTube channel - not that Electrochemy will continue with YouTube. I will update you in due course... Watch out for a separate blog on the many issues that Electrochemy has been facing... WHAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED Audio/Video-wise… The audio/video players have improved but you can’t do much by the way of configuration. By “configuration” I mean the following: - In terms of video, it would have been a welcome bonus to have been able to create a “poster” either from the source at a designated time in the video or by using a graphic/photo. You can’t loop videos too! Audio, it would have been ideal to enable the player to display track titles as this would be a great addition for musicians and broadcasters. For both audio/video there’s no means of creating a playlist; that’s a shame. Xara, the software house behind Web Designer 365 Premium, are affiliates of the multimedia force that is MAGIX and I would have thought by now Web Designer 365 Premium would have some awe inspiring audio/video players. I have to say that I am surprised that there’s no routine for creating video backgrounds? CONCLUSION There’s no doubt that Xara Web Designer 365 Premium has been greatly improved; although I am inclined to think that audio/video can be better. It is possible to make use of other media players such as JPlayer, which is just a matter of adding HTML code. As a WYSIWYG web design application, Web Designer 365 Premium one of best on the market today! It takes care of responsive website design and its rapid at web page composition what with its alignment rulers ensure that objects are placed in precision and in relation to supporting objects. Create professional websites now! SCORE Xara Web Designer Premium 365 scores an Electrochemy Gold! It would have scored Platinum if databases could be integrated into a website; the lack of database support may have "professional" web designers look elsewhere. There again, these days, incorporating a database into a website is no longer essential. It is possible to design great looking professional and functional websites without the need for a database.
£449.99 SALE £748.99 REGULAR - POST SALE It’s been almost 2 years since I reviewed Samplitude Pro X2 Suite. Check out that video here:https://youtu.be/f-koWYJW9TE?t=25m30s WHAT’S NEW? On the surface Samplitude Pro X3 Suite looks very similar to version X2 but on closer inspection there are a multitude of new elements to this leading DAW!
There’s the Orange Vocoder ME by Zynaptiq and a range of new virtual instruments… Let me use text from MAGIX to describe these new virtual instruments…
Pop Drums include an authentic mix of electronic and acoustic drum sets. Lay down a powerful foundation for music in genres from New Wave and Pop to Rock and EDM.
Based on the a recording of a concert grand in an international concert hall, this piano is impressive with its character and detailed articulation.
Weave a colorful tapestry of sound or create atmospheric background music. Cinematic Soundscapes adds a sense of depth and tension to your productions.
This software instrument is based on an authentically sampled Venetian church organ. A huge range of options for sound manipulation expand the repertoire of these instruments even further. They're perfect for use in rock ballads, hip hop tracks and modern dance productions.
Plus… DDP export
Due to popular request, DDP export is now also included in Samplitude. In addition to physical mastering, you can transfer data digitally with checksum. This guarantees a smooth pressing process.
MP3/AAC audition plug-in
The new preview plug-in enables you to preview results before export and guarantees outstanding sound for your mix. Work on pitch to do away with muffled sounds of compressed formats or factor in features from various encoders to create masters compatible with iTunes and other music platforms.
SOUND FORGE Pro
Comprehensive functions in the areas of editing and mastering make SOUND FORGE Pro 11 the perfect companion plug-in for Samplitude Pro X3 Suite. The powerful Audio Editor works on a precise, sample-based level and offers an excellent selection of tools for mixing and finalizing music productions. Melodyne Essential Then there’s Celemony's Melodyne Essential that is an audio editor that can correct pitch and timing. There are more new components to Samplitude Pro X3 but I have just listed the major ones above. You may or may not know, but MAGIX have recently acquired Sony’s Creative Software that includes Sound Forge! It will be interesting to see where MAGIX will take Sound Forge in the not too distant future! ODDLY
What’s a little odd is that MAGIX has retained the “Object Synths” in the form of the Loop Designer (beat and bass machine); BeatBox 2 Plus and Robota. These instruments aren’t bad - far from it! However, the Loop Designer is still not able to handle any sample drum loop in the WAV file format. By now, one should be able to drop just about any WAV file on the Loop Designer and it’ll automatically be rearranged for mangling! It’s not a disaster as there are dedicated instruments and effects from VST creators such as Sugar Bytes. The Looperator (Sugar Bytes) is the Loop Designer concept taken to the extremes! That said, the Loop Designer is great for knocking out quick beats and basslines! I am pleased to let you know that MAGIX has fixed the glitch that stopped the Loop Designer from looping correctly. IN USE I found Samplitude Pro X3 Suite to be just as easy to use as the last version - more so because the elements such as the Loop Designer being able to loop correctly upon playback have been fixed. MAGIX has certainly tightened up the loose screws here. At last it is possible to add tempo changes upon audio as well as MIDI! Awesome! It is about time - pun intended! It’s so very easy to navigate through the user interface as I have gotten used it over the years. And it is also so very easy to get a great sound with the Brickwall Limiter, sMax11, Analog Modelling Suite, Multiband Enhancer and EQ116 - all included in the Suite version. As you would expect, I have a host of mastering plug-ins that can also help me achieve a good mix with Samplitude Pro X3 Suite; it is amazing what you can get for free these days! STEPPING UP Samplitude Pro X3 Suite is what I would call a studio oriented DAW; it is solid and will work with most hardware. I don’t have a studio as such as I am a computer musician and SAM Pro X3 easily fulfills my needs. Is it worth upgrading if you are using satellite DAW, Music Maker (Premium)? It depends on a few factors… 01. Music Maker (Premium) does not work with VST instruments that require separate output such as a drum synth. So, if you have purchased a VST could benefit from having multiple channels then I would say “go for it”! 02. If your computer music focuses upon sample loops mainly then I don’t see the point of advising you to step up in such a major way. SAM Pro X3 Suite is the mothership! 03. Is it worth stepping up from another DAW such as Sonar? Yes, I would say so without a doubt. You are getting a superb DAW with a plethora of instruments - including Independence with a 70GB library - and top-notch studio effects. The DAW cat amongst the pigeons is Cockos REAPER! I think REAPER slays a lot of the current DAWs currently on the market. REAPER pretty much matches most DAWs in terms of features; new features are added through regular updates. And if that’s not enough, you can run REAPER from a USB stick! However, SAM Pro X3 Suite holds its own against REAPER. Why? If you were to purchase the commercial license for REAPER it’ll cost you $225, that’s £176 (by today’s currency conversion) and by the time you have laid out for additional instruments and effects it could be that you’d have spent more than the asking price of SAM Pro X3 Suite, currently £449.99. Plus you get Sound Forge Pro 11 and that is worth $299 (£234) on its own! Certainly, if you were about to set-up a decent home or commercial studio I would recommend Samplitude Pro X3 Suite any day of the week! With a decked out PC setup, Samplitude Pro X3 Suite could go out on the road. CONCLUSION I have reviewed a lot of DAWs in my time and I have to say that MAGIX Samplitude Pro X3 Suite gives you a myriad of features for the outlay; it’s complete! It doesn’t try to be anything else but a workhorse of a DAW. I can’t say that I’m an Ableton Live fan. Samplitude Pro X3 Suite just works how I once worked in a physical studio. Now that Synapse Audio have discontinued Orion Studio my DAW of choice is Samplitude Pro X3 Suite. What I liked about Orion Studio was that it had a lot of power wrapped in a very easy to use interface; it was just lacking a little when it came to the composition side of things. Orion Studio was like FL Studio with its pattern based way of composition. In contrast, SAM Pro X3 Suite uses the traditional linear method of composition and that makes it fluid for me to sequence my music together. I have yet to see a DAW beat Samplitude Pro X3 Suite hands down for such an awesome graphical user interface - it is so precise! SCORE MAGIX Samplitude Pro X3 Suite scores a well-deserved Electrochemy Platinum!
Above: The latest episode of ELECTROCHEMY TV If you have been following me, Al McDonald, and my project, ELECTROCHEMY TV you will understand that I have had some personal issues (that I won’t go too deeply into) which have affected the video production therefore episodes were sporadic to say the least. The beginning proved to be very, very rocky indeed! Lately? 2015, I was getting back into the groove so to speak... I managed to produce a couple of episodes and from there I wanted to up my game some more! Around September 2015 I invested more time, my own money and money from a sponsor to make everything better! The website had an overhaul and come October I was getting ready to drop another episode when I got a notification from the Tax Credits Office to say that I had been getting money under false pretences. In other words I had committed fraud! WHAT!!!??? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I called the Tax Credits Office to find out what the hell they were on about... When I managed to get through – it’s an automated voice activated service that requires certain phrases – it is a bitch – I could not make head or tail as to what was being said to me. The Tax Credits Office representative seemed amused at my distress; obviously, I could not see her face but I got the feeling that the woman did not give a shit about what I was going through.
I was told that I would have to give back the money that I had received in Working Tax Credit and I was told in a way that felt like it was a personal attack – albeit a sly one! Once again I was in shock from what I was hearing over the phone. I was told a whole bunch of nonsense including the total fabrication that I was working for another company. WHAT!!!??? Nothing that was said to me made any sense and I went down in a spiral of shock and disbelief. When I came off the phone I was shell-shocked! I kept saying, “Why now?” over and over again. After about 20 minutes I pulled myself together and I started to investigate this so-called company that I was said to be working for and I couldn’t find out anything. I then called up the main Tax Office to find out more and they had an accurate record of my employment history. I was relieved but I know this fucked up system in that they are all interlinked but each department are separate entities and essentially what that means is that the Tax Credits Office was not going to lift a finger to find out whether what they were telling me had any foundation; I kept refuting all the allegations against me but it did not matter to them as they kept repeating the allegations all the more as if they were true. I had little option but to fight against these allegations myself. I had no legal representative so that meant that I had to research everything I could in order to defend myself. I tried going to an organization called Citizens Advice Bureau but nobody there could offer any solid help. In fact the CAB volunteers get 99.9% of their information over the Internet and, sadly, the interpretation of the information is not always understood and therefore cannot be applied effectively. I had to do and I am still doing everything on my own. I was so angry and frustrated that I had to shelve my plans for video meant for October 2015 and for the Winter Holidays. I guess I went through a mini depression feeling that I had once again let all the people down who were looking forward to the next ELECTROCHEMY TV episode. Not only was my audience growing I had also managed to regain the confidence of companies that give me stuff to review. I hate feeling that I let people down. I hate what had happened to me as I had put so much effort into it. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
TODAY, FEBRUARY 2016
Well, I say today but the whole picture is that I was sent into another bit of depression to learn that David Bowie had passed on. One minute I was listening to the music of his latest album, Blackstar, the next I could at least wish the Music Icon a Happy Birthday – despite all the shit I was going through and come the 10th of January 2016 I woke up to the alarming news of Bowies death. I was seriously depressed for about a week. In an odd way the Tax Credits Office crap that I was going through helped me to get over Bowie’s death in a more constructive way. Needless to say that Bowie felt like a family member as he gave me a soundtrack for just about every important era of my life. I felt like I taught myself to sing by singing along to Bowie’s albums. When I was recording my own Electronic music album all the studio engineers and I would talk about was the ‘Low’ album – such a great influence. Anyway, my fight against the Tax Credits Office continues. If I didn’t know better I would say that what I am going through is a personal attack. Everything that has happened just does not make any sense at all. I have a strong sense of right and wrong and I have to continue to fight these ridiculous allegations. My position has stabilized somewhat but I am still far from being on solid ground. Still, I managed to finish off the episode that is currently online! My battle to find out what is behind this deluge of nonsense from the Tax Credits Office is ongoing; I do hope that I can get to the bottom of it quickly as I do not want to spend unnecessary time on it. I want to get back to making more episodes very soon! I want regularity. I want to put out ELECTROCHEMY TV episodes on a regular basis like clockwork! This will happen soon! If you are a viewer and beloved subscriber I thank you for your patience and I want you to know that I am working hard on a release schedule! If you are one of the many companies sending me products to review I thank you for your patience and I ask you to continue working with me. My audience like my nontechnical reviews because they get to the heart of the matter: the essence of your product. If it works we recommend it and if it doesn’t ELECTROCHEMY TV will let you know too! ELECTROCHEMY TV has a key part to play in product reviews. Thank you so much for sticking with me, Al McDonald and ELECTROCHEMY TV! Here’s to a great 2016! Best wishes, Al McDonald Director / Producer of ELECTROCHEMY TV YOUR YouTube channel for all things Electronic music and more! Visit: ELECTROCHEMY TV DOT COM
LONDON, 11th December 2015: The survivors of one of the world’s most horrific cases of child abuse have joined forces with music industry establishment to create a powerful new music video as part of a groundbreaking campaign that is hoped will encourage more witnesses to come forward so that justice can be brought to the hundreds of victims and a 100 year restriction order on the victim’s files can be lifted. The track, entitled “Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” will enter the Christmas charts when released on iTunes on Friday 11th Decemberhttp://smarturl.it/DontTouchItItsMine.
Written by music magnate and founder of the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA), Raymond Stevenson who discovered Jessie J when she was 15 and was himself physically abused at Shirley Oaks1, with input and melodies by X Factor / Alien Uncovered star, Temple Praise, the track features haunting testimonies from the victims and expresses the fear and horror suffered by vulnerable young children during decades of abuse at Shirley Oaks through the medium of dance. Directed by Giles Borg (Flutter, 1234, Home) and choreographed by Ryan Jenkins, one of the UK’s most sought after choreographers, the vocals are by girl group Ether Mia who were selected based on their suitability to understand the subject matter and to empathise with the victims. All funds raised from the single will go towards helping SOSA track down victims from across the UK and around the world.
The already high profile campaign has attracted the attention and support of MPChuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, who has publically called for a reinvestigation into the case stating that: “By the police’s own admission, previous investigations were ‘of the time’ and did not meet the standards we would apply today. The police owe it to the survivors group to reopen the investigation”. The campaign is also backed by former senior detective Clive Driscoll who said: “The people that matter in this are the people who were in the care system at the time and a reinvestigation will mean we can try and deliver the truth”.
Raymond Stevenson2, SOSA founder, said: “I have spearheaded many campaigns and they have always been motivated by personal circumstances and issues that blight communities. Maybe because I survived the hell of Shirley Oaks I believe it’s my duty to help others. I say this not just because I was a victim but because there can be no greater crime levied at humanity than paedophillia. Then add to that these were abandoned children in the state’s care, already unloved and frightened, some already victims and others whose parents had died. Then add the lies, the cover-up, the conspiracy and now we learn that this could have all been prevented. This video will enable victims to tell their story through a medium that cannot be tampered with or edited. The chorus in the song simply says, ‘you don't know what they done to me’. The video will show the fear horror and abuse through art. A line in the song that asks the question, ‘what happens if it was your child?”
Chair of SOSA, Alex Wheatle MBE, himself a victim of abuse at Shirley Oaks added: “We, the Shirley Oaks Survivors, are proud to launch this music video and hope that it will encourage more witnesses to feel they can come forward and speak out.”
Shirley Oaks, at the time the largest children’s home in the world, has been named as one of 20 children’s homes in the Lambeth borough to be investigated as part of The Goddard Inquiry3, the biggest ever public inquiry into cases of child sexual abuse by public and private institutions in England and Wales. Justice Lowell Goddard announced3 that the investigation, which is expected to last five years, will examine claims, counter claims,conspiracies and cover ups, scrutinizing former and current MPs, advisors, civil servants and the security services.
Amongst the alleged abusers areJimmy Savile, as well as former Lambeth Labour councilors, Toren Smith and Susan Smith, who have been convicted.There have been two major police investigations into abuse at children's homes in South London and a total of three people have been convicted of offences; one relating to Shirley Oaks, swimming instructor, William Hook, and the remaining two including Michael John Carroll who ran Angell Road children’s home and Les Paul from South Vale Children’s Home.
SOSA is demanding answers for one very specific matter – the sudden death of 15-year old Peter Davis in 1977, found hanged in a toilet with a cord around his neck. Following signs of sexual acitivy, a coroner ruled “death by misadventure“, but friends who grew up with him believe he was the target of paedophiles. Peter was the chief witness in a rape trial at the Old Bailey two years before he died where he gave evidence in regard to both his and his sibling’s rape. When the BBC looked for court documents from the time, they found that in 2003 they had been made secret for 100 years.
Singers for the “Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” campaign include 23 year old Millie from Essex, 21 year old Sophie from West Sussex and 21 year old Royal Opera House ballet dancer, Lucy from Stoke. The group known as ETHERMIA were selected based on their suitability to understand the subject matter and to empathise with the victims. When Urban Concepts4 played the track, the girls burst into tears and demanded to be part of the project. Taking their roles as ambassadors for victims seriously, the girls did their own research and went toShirley Oaks and also accompanied the victims as they made a presentation to Lambeth council.
Principal crew for the music video will include: director, Giles Borg (Flutter, 1234, Home) with over twenty years of experience in music, film and television directing music videos, full length feature films, commercials and TV programmes; Jospeh Crone, a multi-talented fashion stylist and costume designer with a diverse list of clients and credits in the music, commercial and film sectors of the industry, from James Blunt to Dizzee Rascal, Investec to Innocent; and Ryan Jenkins, one of the UK’s most sought after choreographers, recently appointed creative director by UK government to represent and create work for Great Britain National day at Milan Expo 2015.
Lambeth Council is supporting the Shirley Oaks Survivors' Association in their campaign to identify further victims and offer counselling to those who have not already received it but feel they would now benefit.
“Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” is available on iTunes now at:
With great sadness and a heavy heart I am sorry to have inform you that a Beautiful Soul was taken from us, Lena Nadine Wacker from Stuttgart, Germany.
Lena was only 21 when she was brutally murdered and her body was left in a graveyard and found on Thursday, 10 September 2015. The motive is unclear; I only found this terrible news through poking people back on Facebook (a few hours ago).
I went to return Lena's poke and received feedback that the 'poke' was misplaced and therefore unable to go through. So, I did a quick search and you know the rest.
I can't say that I knew Lena very well - if at all. But that's besides the point... Do we really ever get to know the people we consider nearest and dearest? Despite Facebook's nonsensical rules on connecting with "people we know" I, and I am sure that you too, can feel a sense of loss and deep distress to have had a young life taken in such an horrific and senseless manner. Lena had dreams of becoming a teacher and I am sure that she would have been a great one. We shall never know. May her Beautiful Soul rest in peace. I can see that she had many friends who are obviously upset and in mourning.
The Cyber Gothic community is a unique one and worldwide. Needless to say that the Cyber Gothic community is very diverse. Lena was a well known figure / personality in the Stuttgart Cyber Gothic faction and was a regular at the VILLAGE Metropole der Nacht Nightclub. An attack on one of us is an attack on ALL of us. Lena Nadine Wacker will be sorely missed - least of all by me.
My heart goes out to her family and friends. I can't begin to imagine what they / you must be going through. I offer my sincere condolences.
I hope that you had a great weekend - Bank Holiday weekend for us Brits! Hey, ELECTROCHEMY TV is offering a prize for any one of the first 60 people to subscribe to the ELECTROCHEMY TV YouTube channel! Subscribe here: ELECTROCHEMY TV
This is 1001% genuine! You have to subscribe to win this mystery prize! If you are a female Cyber Gothic Fetish Steampunk Suicide Alt Model and you would like to appear in a future ELECTROCHEMY TV broadcast please message me through the ELECTROCHEMY Facebook account: ELECTROCHEMY Facebook
How are you doing this weekend? I hope that you will be off raving - do people still use that term? Lol! Anyway...
As you should know by now I am of the opinion that Cyber Gothic Fetish women are the most spectacular in the world! I just LOVE them!
We're working on the next broadcast at the moment and we have a fantastic sexy Cyber Gothic model for the cover and insides! You will get to meet her soon! You can't rush a good thing, right? You know it!
If you are a female Cyber Gothic Fetish Steampunk Suicide Alt Model and you would like to appear in a future ELECTROCHEMY TV broadcast please message me through the ELECTROCHEMY Facebook account: ELECTROCHEMY Facebook
How are you? How are you musical projects coming along? Let me know what you are doing! There is a good chance that we can include your music in a future broadcast!
Here's the awesome Alpha-Ray synth! Yes, it is free but there is a small catch... The catch is that you have to purchase an unlock code in order to be able to save the effect settings. The good news gets better... If you, like me, decide that Alpha-Ray is very, very usable - more so with the effects - then it will cost €5.95 to unlock it! It's a bargain!
How's it going? I hope that all is well and that you are enjoying great Electronic music! If you happen to be a musician or taking your first steps into music making then this wonderful drum synth from Third Harmonic Studios ought to give you a buzz! Check it out! it's FREE!
Hi there, ELECTROCHEMY TV Viewers! It's great to see you. I hope you're well.
As you can see, the ELECTROCHEMY TV website has had a makeover. I hope you'll appreciate the changes.
GONE Gone are the links to free software; sites offering free software are there one minute and the next they are gone. Besides you should already know where to go to download genuine free software. Plus I don't see the point in doing what hundreds of websites are already doing.
Instead I'm going to share my online findings on this blog so make sure to bookmark the ELECTROCHEMY Blogger site as well as the official website: