Monday, 20 November 2017




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…

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! 

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!

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! 

MAGIX Photostory Deluxe 2018 scores an Electrochemy Platinum!



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!

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.

I am 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:

Auslogics BootSpeed 9 scores a well deserved Electrochemy Platinum!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017



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!

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!

Monday, 28 August 2017



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!

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!

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!

Best wishes,

Electrochemy TV





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…
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.

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?

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.

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.

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.


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. 

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.

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:

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...

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?

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!

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.