Friday, 26 June 2015



Available on the Magix website for £29.99

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s great to see you as always! How’s it going? I hope that all is well with you and yours! I also hope that your tech is behaving as it should! Nothing worse than malfunctioning tech when you’re on a roll!

So, you are making some great soundtracks for your mobile phone or action cams? Great! Read on! Are you a budding music producer with decent DAW (digital audio workstation) to hand and need some inspiration? Read on!

#Magix #Soundpool21 #MusicMaker #MovieScore #Video #VideoEditing #MusicMaking #DAW

Making musical tracks from sample loops is not as easy as you might like to think; while it is considerably easier than being able to play an instrument making tracks that sound like a musician consciously put them together still takes quite a bit of skill. So, the first start is a set of decent sample loops! Enter Magix yet again with this great sample loop collection on DVD (Collection 21).

First off the best thing about this sample collection is that it is made up of different genres as follows:-

Drum & Bass Vol. 3
Hip Hop Vol. 16
Reggae Vol. 2
Funk Vol. 1
Rock Pop Vol. 9
Techno Vol. 17
Chillout Vol. 9
House Vol. 11
Metal Vol. 3
Movie Score Vol. 12

If, for example, you were to take one of the genres alone from this collection it could set you back anywhere from £10 or considerably more – especially when it’s a set of samples produced by a well known artist or artists. So, from the word “go” you are getting a fantastic and outstanding deal at £29.99.

OK, take a sample collection from Prime Loops for example. Let’s take the genre of Drum ‘n’ Bass to allow me to illustrate the following point... What you typically get from a Prime Loops collection is a set of drum loops that obviously typifies the genre; you get a few drum, bass and synth loops. It’s very sparse! You go for another collection in the same genre you will find that there is not much difference in the loops – the tempo may change a little or some effects are added to the loops. Then there is the FX sounds which amounts to the same blips, bleeps and swelling effects from one collection to another. At that point I find that Magix makes a concerted effort to deliver more sample loops with a creative edge and the FX section goes beyond what is expected. Just the Drum ‘n’ Bass collection contains 104 different FX! WOW! And they aren’t the typical blips, bleeps and swells.

Furthermore, Prime Loops do not give you a building block approach to creating tracks from the loops. If you are lucky, Prime Loops gives you up to four loops of a beat variation and it is up to you to cut and slice those beats up into something else. The more experienced musician is able to reorganize the loops to sound totally different. But on the other hand Magix gives you the beats that you’d want to make anyway and I think this saves more time. Rather than to try and recreate the wheel, you have all the permutations of drum loops, basslines, etc to make a whole track (from a series of elements for a single musical theme). But this is where Magix rule... Instead of giving you one Drum ‘n’ Bass track to recompose you get over 10 different types of Drum ‘n’ Bass loops to the very limited Prime Loop collection or collections! That is phenomenal!

Again, sorry to beat (hee hee) Prime Loops into the ground but with the Magix Soundpool collection in general you get the whole shebang to make music... You get basslines, chord sequences, etc in specific keys! This will save you from trying to come up with the melodic passages because, let’s face it, many “musicians” are happy to produce the expected. However, because there are so many genres in this collection you can create fusions! And let’s say that you are a gifted musician, you can easily play on top of the drum loops or create inspirational melodies to the basslines, chord sequences, etc.

Naturally, you can use this collection to extend any of the Magix Music Maker (such as Movie Score reviewed recently) and Studio DAWs! And it goes without saying that you can use these sample loops with any other DAW at your disposal: REAPER, Samplitude Pro X and Orion Studio to mention a few! Let’s get down to the verdict.

I LOVE this collection as the genres are varied and the Movie Score samples have the ingredients to create the background music for just about any video / movie style or even presentations! Again, what I appreciate is that I can cross-pollinate samples from completely different genres thus creating something a little more exciting than the run of the mill! I also thought that some of the Reggae drum loops were spot on!

But this collection is not quite perfect... I would have liked the drum kits in a one-shot format i.e. the individual components that make up the kit: kick, snare, high hat and so on so that I could, for example, bring them into the Magix BeatBox 2 Plus drum machine and make my own variations. That said it is possible to use the Magix Loop Designer that can be found in the Premium version of Music Maker, load up a drum loop and mutate it out of recognition. Bear in mind that the Loop Designer is fussy and some loops may not be compatible. The more experienced computer musician would use other loop mangling instruments and effects.

And – this is probably just me - I find the Techno and House loops to be a little uninspiring. I feel that Techno and House may have moved on somewhat... There again, in my head “Techno” means something else!

Once again, after taking all the above into consideration I have to give the Magix Soundpool Collection 21 a well deserved Synapse Circuit Platinum! 

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit



Available on the Magix website for £24.99

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! Always it is wonderful to see you! Life is great! And I just happen to think that with the aid of technology that life is greater still! I guess you do too otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!

Hey, I have a project for you! Don’t let your pictures and videos sit in the cloud doing nothing! Although the Google Photos app can take your pictures and videos and make a bigger video out of them but nothing beats having an idea and executing it from start to finish! There’s no doubt that the smartphone has become an integral part of our lives... The cameras on these things are... WOW! It’s time to add a unique soundtrack to compliment your unique video! Can’t play an instrument to save your life? Read on!

#Magix #MusicMaker #MovieScore #Video #VideoEditing

There’s nothing like watching a talent show to feel completely talentless or, better still, to feel that urge to take up an instrument... Singing lessons? OK, I’ve gone too far... Here’s some great news... While you are learning an instrument you can train your ear while creating a brilliant soundtrack for your video / movie! Yay!

Music Maker Movie Score Edition is, as you’d imagine, cut from the mighty Music Maker Premium (2015 is the current version). The full blown Music Maker 2015 Premium may be overkill if you don’t see yourself as a music producer – but if you did... Anyhoo, if you are a keen videographer or video maker (whatever you want to call yourself) you may want to give Music Maker Movie Score Edition a try... Why? I will fill you in...

Come back! Don’t go to the gym! What I mean is that even if you are tone deaf – it’s hard to imagine that people can be – you cannot go wrong with Music Maker Movie Score Edition. Let me tell you how the concept works...

In a nutshell the Music Maker Movie Score Edition comes with over 1500 predefined sample loops that Magix call “Soundpools”. The musical genre covers, yes, movie score type loops i.e. string sections, ominous basses, choirs and so on – practically everything you have ever heard during your cinema attendance over the years. Although the musical loops – with the exception of a few FX – are categorised in key i.e. the C major scale. Don’t ring a bell? Well, when try to place unrelated keys together you are met with a dialogue box that asks if you want to match / compliment the musical loop(s) you’ve added to the available track slots. Oh, the loops are also categorised by tempo! Yes, you can mix different tempos... And you can purchase additional Soundpool collections to expand the usability.

Above: The Music Maker Movie Score Edition with Magix oriented VST instruments such as the Space Pad synth which is not part of the package. See below for the Magix VST instrument listing. 

 If you happen to know a thing or two about music, well you can purchase a keyboard book that tells you all the chords, scales and what keys complement each other, there are some great onboard virtual instruments:-

Soundtrack Percussion
Livid (drums)
Robota (Electronic drum machine)
BeatBox 2 (drum machine with bassline sounds)

The above are awesome instruments that sound fantastic. If you happen to have other Music Maker software installed on your PC it should recognize more Magix specific instruments. And if you don’t have other Magix Music Maker or Studio software installed on your system it is possible to buy some additional instruments from the Magix online store. Awesome! So, yes, you work with MIDI files if you are using the virtual instruments. If you like - Music Maker Movie Score Edition - can be used as sketchpad; export the MIDI file for use in other digital audio workstations. So, initially you don’t have to bring out the big guns (so to speak) to do a movie / video soundtrack.


Above: The Audio FX Rack; these effects can be applied to any track or a particular sample loop / sound component. 

In addition to the sound loops and virtual instruments there is a great mixer where you can mix up to 64 tracks of audio and less if you add video onto the tracks. There are the wonderful effects that really make your soundtracks sparkle which typical of the Music Maker legacy! There’s a delay, reverb, compressor and 10-band equalizer. If you have ever used the full blown Music Maker Premium version you’ll be familiar with the Mastering Suite; here the Mastering Suite is cut down but not so much that makes the exercise of mixing useless. In fact it’s not called the “Mastering Suite” but the main mixing desk stereo output has a final destination (hee hee) set of effects to enhance the sound:-

10-band equalizer
and the most important effect, in my opinion, is the Compressor!

Above: The virtual mixing desk and Master Audio FX. 

The compressor, if you don’t know, can make for a hard and loud sound without distortion. But I have to say that I don’t miss the full blown Mastering Suite because the sound coming from Music Maker Movie Score Edition is fantastic! Crystal clear! See screenshots for the Audio FX Rack and Master FX.

Above: Here are some additional "essential FX" stomp-boxes that include a guitar amplifier set-up, Vandal SE. There's also a bitcrusher effect unit too.

There’s also some addition stomp-box effects including the special edition Vandal guitar amplifier; yes, it is possible to record external instruments and vocals. The possibilities are vast!

I have to say it: Magix is the reason why you would want to invest in a good PC. Magix produces high calibre software that practically helps to keep the PC alive! Music Maker Movie Score Edition is no exception for the brilliant Magix legacy!

What’s there not to like about Music Maker Movie Score Edition? For the serious video maker it beats using a bunch of the royalty free (and freely available online) music. You can bring either a rough cut or the finished video into the DAW (digital audio workstation) and compose the music directly to the video. Or you can bring in video material and do a very basic edit – you don’t need flashy fades / wipes – and then compose the music!

Here are the video import and export formats:-


The beauty of Music Maker Movie Score Edition is that if you decide that you like the Magix multimedia ethos you can then purchase higher end software such as Movie Edit Pro or Video Pro X (see the Synapse Circuit Video Pro X7 review by clicking on this text) you are able to transfer between the software.

The price, £24.99, is unbeatable! I have to give Magix Music Maker Movie Score Edition a Synapse Circuit Platinum!

The quality of the results is superb! You can’t go wrong! If you are a serious video maker / producer you will find that Music Maker Movie Score Edition is a must if your goal is to feature unique soundtrack music; from minimal to epic compositions that would make John Barry proud! Think about it... You could pay up to £30 or more for a track lasting 2 minutes! This is an all-round no-brainer: you don’t need to be a musical virtuoso and you don’t need a whole lot of money!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Above: The Tesco Hudl 2. Who would have thought that a supermarket giant would put out a pretty decent tablet, huh? I think it puts a lot of manufacturers to shame! You can pick one up for £99 these days! Here's the Synapse Circuit Hudl 2 review: Hudl 2 OK, it's got an Intel chip inside but it seems to do the business (for a change)...


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s awesome to see you as always! I thank you so much for reading my articles! And I hope that I have inspired you to take on some tech projects! The world of creativity is at your fingertips! Get stuck in! You will figure it out as you go along; you’ll be glad that you took the first step!

Did you abandon your PC for a tablet and didn’t go back? Do you think that the advent of the “phablet” has killed the tablet? What’s on your mind regarding the tablet? Are you planning on getting one? Read on!

#Tablet #AndroidTablet #iPad #Surface

A couple of weeks ago I threw my ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE tablet across the room out of sheer frustration! I was using Facebook and the experience was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo freakin’ slow that I gave into multiple angerisms and through the air the tablet went! When it landed I was surprised that it was reasonably intact save for minor crack in the screen...

Look, I never expected for the ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE phone / tablet hybrid to replace my PC but to augment it but I never expected that running a rudimentary app that is Facebook would be so freakin’ frustrating. That right there is the problem for the Android tablet. I think so many companies are cutting vital corners in a bid to keep the costs reasonable. As I have said so many times: cutting corners on any device gives an overall negative impression and in the case of Android it has so many manufacturers representing it that I am surprised that Google haven’t pressed specific standards upon them. I have had my tablet for around 18 months or less and already it is obsolete. Before I cracked the screen I could have taken it to one of those computer exchange shops only to be insulted with a crap offer. I will still use the darn thing but no more Facebook (obviously). Despite my experience thus so far with the Android tablet I remain undeterred...
Above: Unwanted iPad models. I think Apple should scrap an iOS based iPad in favour of OSX! Don't worry about creating the thinnest tablet in the world... Add the USB C type socket and Apple could be laughing all the way to the bank (again). Anway, from where I am standing the iPad is experiencing a backlash from dissatisfied users. Just look! 

Should I go iPad? Well, no. Why? I am glad you asked... Although the iPad is beautifully crafted and features some great apps I do think that it’s too pricey for what it is and that I may as well get a Macbook or something. Besides I am a PC person with so many darned PCs that I could perhaps create a little PC shop of my own!

App-wise I am not convinced still that the iPad is the best... I’ve said it a thousand times that there is very little that the Android tablet can’t do when comparing the two platforms. And, of course, I can do so much with any one of my Android handsets; the Google equivalent to Microsoft Office suffices. At the moment I am quite content to augment the PCs with my Android handsets and (crap) tablet.

But I would imagine that the iPad is powerful enough to take the place of a computer. We’ll get to the computer in a bit...

For many Apple enthusiasts the iPad mini impacted on the sales of the larger iPad and now the iPhone 6 Plus has practically knocked the final nail into iPad coffin. I have pointed out to you that these computer exchange shops can’t get rid of the iPad models fast enough! The iPad would make a whole lot of sense if it were competitively priced.


Above: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4. You're probably wondering why I haven't placed a picture of the Microsoft Surface here... The reason is to illustrate that I find it beneficial to use the Galaxy Note 4 for writing articles in Google Docs, sketching out musical ideas using Soundcamp and Caustic 3 and making notes with S Note that can be exported to PDF! 

I think that the Surface tablet – the pro one – is the pinnacle of the tablet concept. As I have pointed out many times before the tablet PC is a Microsoft concept that was scrapped as it was too expensive then (and now to a certain extent).

I really do not see where Apple is going with multiple operating systems and overpriced tech... Whereas with the Surface I don’t have to mess around with apps but make use of proper software! Yes, I am repeating myself... This is for the benefit of my new readership, so bear with me! The cost of the Surface Pro is quite steep. As a hardcore PC user it makes more sense for me to invest what I would have spent on a Surface Pro on a powerful kickass desktop PC – as much RAM as the motherboard can hold, massive hard drives and so on!

The PC is a solid workhorse that it needs replacing around every 5 years. And if you know what you are doing you can replace components or build a PC from scratch! And the reason why PC sales are in decline is simply because many households only use the PC for web browsing, social networking and emailing; you can do all that on a phone let alone a tablet. Certainly you are able to do word processing with Google Docs on your phone; Google Docs is just one of the productivity apps that negates the need for Microsoft Office with Slides (PowerPoint compatible); Sheets (Excel) and PDF Viewer. With the Google Cloud Print app you can print your documents with compatible printers. Cool!

Also, where I am concerned, I have to ask: Do I really need the power of the Surface tablet on the fly i.e. when I am travelling? Would I be better off with a laptop? And so far I am unable to say that I need a Surface Pro or laptop. The one big issue I have would be the battery life and the possibility of carrying a chunky power cable around with me... No!

Above: The HTC Nexus 9. I do like it... It's a grand looking 64-bit tablet but I think it's a tad too big for me... Why didn't Google do an 8" tablet? 

Yes, for me the Android tablet makes a lot of sense... Why? Well, I am noticing that the apps are getting so much better. I think that app developers are slowly but surely coming around to the Android tablet. I think app developers are afraid of two things:-

1. Apple would stop talking to them if they created Android versions of popular apps.
2. They feel as though the tablet market in general is in decline.

Above: Helio X20! Helio Kitty! I am just looking forward to the announcement of new phablets and tablets this year with powerful 64-bit chips inside. Mediatek looks like it's going to blow Intel mobile devices chips out of the water! The Intel chip inside my ASUS Fonepad is pretty horrific! I am beside myself as the experience is beyond disappointing! 

I, myself, feel that the tablet market in general is in decline but with the right specifications the Android tablet could make a sharp comeback! Android has hit the 64-bit mark and there are quite a few chip making companies looking to gain the upper hand. Enter MediaTek and the Helio™ X20 - the world’s first mobile processor with Tri-Cluster™ CPU architecture and ten processing cores (Deca-core). That bit of news shows me that things are getting better for Android in general – not like it was bad in the first place!

Once again, Samsung seems to be the only manufacturer looking to produce power and quality across the board. Other manufacturers need to follow suit to remain in the game let alone stay competitive. Us Android folk want power (at least to run what I call the base apps: Facebook; Gee Plus; Gmail; YouTube and so on), quality of build – the Fonepad pops to the touch that it feels like I am holding a DVD / Bluray case and affordability. As per usual I don’t mind the Samsung plastic builds just as long as I get the performance and a solid feel like it is with the Galaxy Note 2 and 4.

I think just before Christmas this year we should see some more formidable tablets from Samsung, NVIDIA, Huawei and possibly HTC. I like the Nexus 9 by HTC but I do like the smaller form. I thought that the supermarket chain, Tesco, did well with the 8” Hudl 2 tablet with front-facing speakers. Maybe Hudl 3 will feature a 64-bit CPU / System on Chip this year – that is if Tesco can arise from its financial difficulties at the moment.

Ah, speaking of finance... I think the idea that developers can’t make money from the Android platform is mute as a few months ago it was announced that the Play Store had surpassed the App Store in sales. Although there is piracy on every platform you will find that people will pay for good apps just as long as the price is reasonable. It is also a myth that developers have a hard time with Android as it caters for multiple screen resolutions... I would love to develop apps and may invest in a course at some point... Anyway, let me conclude...

Above: The powerful and underrated Samsung Galaxy Tab S! In my opinion it is better than the iPad. Of course, the choice is entirely up to you. I am quite sure that Samsung will release a 64-bit Galaxy Tab S later this year.

For my needs the Android tablet is the most effective way to compute on the go (I often travel at the weekends). It’s not only effective cost-wise but it has an appealing small form factor and I am able to use it as a sketchpad in that I am able to transfer the outputted files into powerful PC programs such as DAW (digital audio workstations), video editors and so on. I can also arrive at a finished article using a phone or tablet.

But I am very sure that the power-apps will come; at the moment the onus is on entertainment i.e. gaming followed by media streaming... Maybe the Android platform suffers a little from the reputation as inexpensive media consuming products... Hmmmm...

I think that the onus lies with the manufacturer to have some decent apps pre-installed that can make use of the power. So far, I see only Samsung making such a great effort with S Note, Video Editor and the remarkable DAW, Soundcamp. Yes, I know... seems as though I am the biggest Samsung fan in the world but I have to give them credit where it is due! Samsung is on the ball!

There are a few things that I would like Samsung to do – seeing as I have a couple of Galaxy Note handsets (2 & 4) – is to enable me to create the following from its SNote application:-

1. Publish to Kindle eBook.
2. Publish to APK including video and audio.
3. Publish to Interactive PDF with video and audio.

Above: The Google Nexus Player as realized by ASUS. I have to get one! 

I am referring to the Amazon tablets... It appears as though the fire has gone out of the Amazon tablet range. Do you have an Amazon tablet? Is it something you find appealing? I think that the Amazon tablet has lost its fizzle due to a number factor:-

1. Using a forked version of Android is not appealing – at least to me. I feel that Amazon would have been better off embracing Android from the start. As a result I think people are somewhat confused, “What kind of tablet is that?” “Is it Android?” Creating a device to act as a gateway to an online store is not a great idea. It’s pretty much like the cage that Apple has built for iTunes and the App Store. Why close an open ecosystem?

2. The advent of a growth in the smart TV streaming market! Why spend roughly £90 on a tablet to stream media to your TV when you can pay considerably less for something like Google Chromecast, Nexus Player, Roku, Now TV and, of course, Amazon’s own Fire TV stick!?

These smart TV devices could be having an impact on the Android tablet market too – especially as it is viewed by many as an entertainment device. Whenever I see people with a tablet on the street they are usually consuming media such as a video or busy mother’s will give under 11 year olds an Android tablet to keep them occupied.

Again, I have to say it; Samsung is the only manufacturer I can think of that is pushing the use of the tablet beyond an entertainment device. And considering that one of Google’s fortes is advertising I don’t think they are doing a good job in convincing the masses that having an Android tablet is vital. And come to think of it I am not seeing a great amount of advertising on tablets beyond Microsoft’s Surface! I have understood that the Nexus 9 hasn’t been a great success for Google and I reckon it’s because of the size; going from 7” to 9” is a pretty big jump for those who, like me, prefer the small form. Apparently, Google has no plans to release another tablet this year... Gosh! Maybe that is a good thing... Perhaps Google will concentrate on tablet app development and a thoughtful marketing campaign.

As a consumer all I can do is sit and wait for a tablet that’s right for me! What’s your ideal tablet?

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit

Tuesday, 23 June 2015



Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s great to see you as always! How are you getting on with your tech projects? Have you created a website for your hobby / interest, church, school or whatever? Let me know and I will link it! Let me know what software you used to create the site! Please: nothing smutty! Synapse Circuit is a family oriented digital online magazine!

The Interweb is something of a wonder, isn’t it! A plethora of knowledge... However, it would do you some good to be thorough with what you take on as solid info... Ssssh, they are recording you... Read on!

#Samsung #Battery #NFC #Surveillance #SecretRecording

While it was jolly decent of Edward Snowden to let us know that intelligence (hahahaha) agencies are spying on us through our mobile phones the revelation has made many of us paranoid. And I quote former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, “If you are doing something that you shouldn’t be doing then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it...” Yeah... Don’t be evil, huh?
Facebook, UK, 23rd June 2015 “Look! Samsung has is secretly recording every photo we take...”

I am paraphrasing the spoken words of a person in a video that is doing the rounds on social networks at the moment who appears to be revealing (the Great Revealo – Futurama reference) a hidden chip in Samsung’s battery that is said to be recording photos, conversations, etc... Yeah, well too bad an intelligence agency didn’t prevent some lone nutcase from shooting 9 parishioners to death during a church service Charleston, USA on June 17, 2015. Notice that the media never refers to the lone gunman as a “terrorist”. God rest the souls of the murdered and bring some sense of comfort to their respective family and friends as well as survivors.

So, if any intelligence agency out there is doing some spying with a view to preventing terrorist acts then any individual or individuals involved need to look for another job. YOU ARE CRAP!

And with that out of my system...

Think about it for a moment or two... Where on Earth would Samsung store countless millions of photos, videos, recorded conversations, etc? In the clouds? Well, don’t be surprised if the weather person announces, “Tomorrow it’ll be raining zeroes and ones...”

I hate to hazard a guess as to how many people have destroyed the Near Field Communication chip in their Samsung batteries thinking that they have foiled a massive espionage plot! But judging by the amount of Facebook people responding the massively shared video it looks like it could be several thousands...

To be honest I was momentarily stunned by this revelation scanning my Facebook half asleep! I even shared the link! Shock! Horror! It was early morning and I don’t sleep with my phones off... <That’s my excuse... Hahaha!> I even went as far as sharing the video before falling asleep again... When I woke up one of my sensible friends informed my friends and I that it was the NFC chip in the viral video. I could have slapped myself if my arm wasn’t numb from sleeping on it!

Please, leave your Samsung batteries alone! Don’t destroy your NFC chip! It just goes to show how susceptible we can be to viral videos or any sort of contrivance on the Interweb! Be vigilant. I am also currently researching conspiracy theories for an up and coming Antisocial Networking article and some of these conspiracies do stick in the mind! Gosh! So, check and double check... And check again with regards to rumours / conspiracies that spread like wildfire!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit

Monday, 22 June 2015



...launches FreePC

Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s great to see you as always! I hope that you are taking on projects that stretch your tech knowledge! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Are you feeling let down by unfulfilling promise of the tablet? Well, this bit of news may inspire you... Read on!

#MODECOM #FreePC #Windows8

A personal computer that’s the size of a USB flash drive with Intel Quad Core Processor, Win 8.1 OS that can easily be carried in your pocket!

London, UK, 22nd June 2015 MODECOM FreePC is now available to buy in the UK. MODECOM Free PC is the latest generation of mini-computer. Although it’s only the size of a USB flash drive, the FreePC still has all the power and performance of a normal sized PC. The MODECOM FreePC is equipped with a  powerful quad-core processor power Intel® Atom Bay Trail-CR Z3735F with 2GB of RAM and integrated Intel HD graphics. MODECOM FreePC runs off Microsoft Windows 8.1. This new compact mini-computer is equally ideal for home users, commuters and office workers. Available at £129.99 inc.

MODECOM FreePC is an incredibly small device that makes it possible to turn your PC or monitor into a big screen Personal Computer. The combination of new generation components with stylish design and compact size creates an office tool that fits in every pocket.

Simply plug FreePC into an available HDMI connector on your TV/monitor, connect it to a power source via USB, and in seconds you will be have access to the rich world of multimedia entertainment. With an Internal flash disc capacity of 16GB there is plenty of space for your favourite multimedia files (movies, photos, music), however the internal storage can easily be increased by using the built-in micro SD card reader with support up to 32GB micro SDHC.

MODECOM FreePC is also an excellent device for business solutions. Featuring Bluetooth 4.0 the device is portable and can easily be connected to peripheral devices such as mice and keyboards.

FreePC Specifications:-
OS: Windows 8.1
Microsoft® Office 365™ Personal - Free one month trial
OneDrive: 10.000 GB cloud storage
CPU: Intel Atom Bay Trail-CR Z3735F Quad Core
Graphics: Intel HD graphics
Display: supports  up to Full HD 1080p
Storage :  16GB eMMC
MicroSDHC: up to 64GB
1 x mini USB 2.0
1 x micro USB 2.0
1 x micro USB 2.0 (power)
Wireless: WiFi
Bluetooth:  4.0 Low Energy
Power  5V /2A
Dimensions   x 3.8 x 1 cm
Accessories:  adapter, USB cable (power/OTG), manual

Price & Availability:
The MODECOM Free PC is available at £129.99 from Amazon from July 1st 2015

MODECOM is one of the fastest growing new technology companies.  MODECOM was established in 1999 with the aim of delivering high quality and innovative products at competitive prices to its customers.  MODECOM was a pioneer in the production of PC cases with unique design and colour, and was one of the first to market with a case with front panel USB ports. Thanks to innovative ideas and high quality products, MODECOM is quickly becoming recognized as an outstanding leader in new technology. The company is continually adding to its product range which nowadays includes:  speakers, mice, keyboards, network and memory devices, card readers, bags for portable computers, earphones, GPS navigation devices, tablets PC, smartphones.

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How are you? I hope that you are well and that the weather is treating you wonderfully! I’ve got hayfever badly this year! Here goes anti-hayfever remedy no.2!

I also hope that you had a great Father’s Day weekend! Enter the Edifier Dads Rock competition below!

#FathersDay #Edifier #Dadsrock

1. Send a photo of your dad showing us why he rocks!

2. Post it on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter with the hashtags #DADSROCK ‪#‎EDIFIER_GLOBAL

3. And we'll choose 5 rocking dads to win an Edifier R1700T! What are you waiting for!! Enter your dad in the Edifier #DadsRock competition today!

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!
Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!

Please check out the Synapse Circuit site here: Synapse Circuit dot com

Tuesday, 9 June 2015



Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! As always it’s great to see you! I hope that all is well with you and your tech!

As promised here’s the first of many competitions! The ability to make music is an indescribable joy! Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium is an enabler and I recommend it 101% for beginners and professionals! Check out the Synapse Circuit review here: Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium Review

#Magix #MusicMaker2015Premium #MagixMusicMakerCompetition #Competition


1. Which of the following is NOT an instrument found within the Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium package?

A. Urban Drums
B. Prickly Hedgehog
C. DN-e1 Synthesizer

2. What does the acronym MIDI stand for?

A. Micro Instrument Digital Input
B. Macro Instrumentation Digitized Interface
C. Musical Instrument Digital Interface

3. What is the Magix country of origin?

A. America
B. Germany
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Monday, 8 June 2015


PRICE: £89.99
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Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! As always it is great to see you! I hope that you are enjoying wonderful weather where you are! And I also hope that you are making the most of the tech available to you! What? You aren’t doing a project? C’mon! Get that website built for your hobby, school or whatever! Quit complaining about how bad music is today and make your own!

In the meantime if you are looking for a budget Android smartphone you could very well be in luck as I think I may have a solution for you! Read on!

#Motorola #Lenovo #Google #MotoE4GLTE #MotoESecondGeneration

Operating system
Android™ 5.0 Lollipop

System Architecture / Processor
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processor with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 306 with 400 MHz GPU

Memory (RAM)

Storage (ROM)
8 GB*
Removable storage: Supports up to 32GB microSD card

Height: 129.9 mm
Width: 66.8 mm
Curve: 5.2 - 12.3 mm

145 grams (5.11 ounces)

4.5" qHD 540 x 960 245 ppi IPS
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Anti-smudge coating

2390 mAh
Mixed usage up to 24 hours**

Water Resistant Coating


GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA (900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (1, 3, 7, 20)

Rear Camera
5 MP
f / 2.2 aperture
Quick Capture
Tap anywhere to capture
4X digital zoom
Slow motion video
Burst mode
Auto HDR
Tap to focus

Front Camera

SIM Card

Micro USB, 3.5mm headset jack

Bluetooth® Technology
Bluetooth version 4.0 LE

802.11 b / g / n

Earpiece, loudspeaker, 2-mic support

Video Capture
480p HD Video, 30 fps (MPEG4, H.264)


Location Services

Accelerometer (x2), Ambient Light, Proximity, Sensor Hub

Base Colour: Black or White
Removable Motorola Band

Motorola Bands: Golden Yellow, Turquoise, Blue, Raspberry, Purple, Red (sold separately)

Motorola Grip Shells: Yellow, Charcoal, Turquoise, Blue, Raspberry (sold separately)


Thankfully the one thing that is reassuring with regards to the above specifications is that Intel is absent from CPU duty! I don’t know about you but the words “Intel inside” fill me with trepidation whether it’s a PC or mobile device because it has become very apparent to me that Intel is currently sailing on hype! One the PC the AMD FX octo-core CPU is as powerful – if not more so – than the Intel i7. On mobile devices Intel has so much competition – especially from Qualcomm – that is drowning out its (Intel) efforts. Intel, in my most humble opinion, seems to be overestimating its CPUs... The single-core 2 GHz CPU in the Motorola RAZRi (2012) was supposed to be powerful but has not stood the test of time... The Intel dual-core 1.6 GHz CPU within the ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE (2013) is not happening where the latest version of the Facebook app is concerned. However, the 2011 Samsung Galaxy S2 is able to handle the same latest Facebook app a whole lot more efficiently than the devices mentioned above. So much for yesterday’s premium handsets becoming today’s budget ones...

All that said above it is so comforting to know that the Motorola Moto E 4G LTE model features a quad-core 1.2 GHz CPU! You would have thought that the 1 GB of RAM wouldn’t be enough for demanding apps but I found that the combination of the quad-core CPU, 400 MHz GPU and 1 GB RAM has proven to be very, very satisfactory indeed. Again, using Facebook as a benchmark, I found that the Moto E 4G LTE is quite zippy! I now have a door stopper in the form of the Motorola RAZRi what with its sloping chin and a hi-tech coaster with the Fonepad 7 LTE that can hold two large mugs. Great! That’s evolution / progression for you! Somehow I don’t think that I will get any device with an Intel chip in it ever again!

Yes, I have to state it again that the performance of the Moto E 4G LTE is very, very pleasing! This brings me to...


I have always warned you, my Dear Readers, to give sub £100 Android handsets the wide berth as they are 99.9% crap! What is a wonderful idea turns into a nightmare after key apps such as Facebook, G Plus, WhatsApp, etc has been updated the handset slows down to a crawl. You may as well use an old fashioned – by today’s standards – candybar phone – the ones that you can pick up for around £10 - £19 if you are looking for a cheap phone! The Huawei and ZTE sub £70 handsets appeared to be exceptionally good value but alas no...

I am so very, very pleased to tell you that this handset, the Moto E 4G LTE, is what I expect of a budget smartphone. It is fast, it can hold a good amount of apps on the 8 GB internal storage – I installed all my favourite apps and I still have 2.7 GB left to fill! For my pictures, video, music and other miscellaneous downloads I can make use of up to 32 GB of microSD card storage! There is a removable band surrounding the Moto E 4G LTE that conceals the Micro-SIM and microSD card slots on the left and on the right it covers up the power button and volume rocker. The band has a roughened texture not too dissimilar to a nail file and you can get them in different colours: Golden Yellow, Turquoise, Blue, Raspberry, Purple and Red (sold separately).

Although the Moto E 4G LTE is made of plastic there is no compromise where the build is concerned; it’s quite a thick, solid and robust compared to some of these premium dainty affairs. The Moto E 4G LTE is the kind of phone you can put in your front or back jean pocket and not worry too much – if at all – about breaking it by tying your shoelace of momentarily forgetting that it’s in your back pocket as you take a seat! I have to say that I do prefer a thicker phone! The 2390 mAh battery can last up to a couple of days on standby before it needs to be recharged. I think there is not much point in talking about the battery when used because you know for yourself that if you spend a long time on your phone listening to music, playing games, watching YouTube videos and so on the faster the battery will deplete. With moderate use I still had a good percentage of the battery left. Oh, the battery is non-removable!

The 4.5” 540 x 960 245 ppi IPS screen is quite good for a phone of its class...’s in a class of its own as I’ve yet to see a similar handset with the same or similar price tag of £89.99 (that you actually want and can live with afterwards). I have been testing it in bright sunlight and with the brightness turned all the way up I can’t say that I was irritated by glare – especially when taking photos and videos! Using the camera is potentially where you will notice the presence of glare! It’s sunny and the opportunity to take a picture / video will present itself...


I do LOVE and ENJOY taking pictures with my handsets so very much as I find it relaxing... I am happy to state that the 5MP camera on the Moto E 4G LTE is good. Naturally, you can’t expect the quality to be a good as what is found on the premium handsets but the Moto E 4G LTE is more than good enough for updating social network profiles. It has no flash and therefore relies on good lighting conditions for best results. Some pictures that I took at night weren’t a total disaster! It even has an HDR setting that I took advantage of! The video comes out as 720p HD and there is a setting for slow motion video!

In use I found that the camera was pretty fast in terms of finding the point of focus when launched and from there it is a matter of clicking on the screen and the photo is taken! There are those times where you think that you have the focal point in focus and you hit the screen to take the photo and the camera will do its best to adjust to make the photo sharp but it misses more than it hits. I found that the camera needs precision handling i.e. I found myself having to wait a little longer to focus before taking the shot and when photographing people they’d have to pose as it is not good for action shots. With HDR whether set to “on” or “auto” it’s game over for moving objects (as it is on most cameras) but even when trying to capture people and objects moving at a moderate pace the end results in a blur. That said the results from the camera aren’t bad at all! The video was surprisingly good in good to adequate lighting conditions. So, the Moto E 4G LTE may not be the camera you use for party / club and / or live performance situations.

The front-facing VGA camera is not going to be good for selfies... It’s just about reasonable for video calling... But what do you expect for under £100?


Remarkably the Moto E 4G LTE runs Android 5, Lollipop 5.0.2 and it makes for a really enjoyable experience. I didn’t notice any lag in the operating system itself but there is a noticeable lag when it comes to launching CPU and RAM intensive apps... For example I would typically unlock the Moto E 4G LTE and launch the Facebook app which took about 3 to 4 seconds to fully launch. But once Facebook was up and running it was very, very quick to go from status to notifications, pages and so on... Once again I use Facebook as a benchmark because I find that it is a resource hungry application that will have underpowered devices struggling. If you use Facebook a lot then you will be relieved to know that it runs smoothly on the Moto E 4G LTE – Facebook was updated several times during the test period. And another point I am making is that if a device has to run a skin (manufacturer user interface) on top of Android it could prove to slow down the general operation of the handset. The Moto E 4G LTE is very much a vanilla experience with a few embellishments from Motorola baked in rather than resorting to yet another skin! Things like Moto Assist / Motorola Services is what pops up on the Moto E 4G LTE...’s a little irritating at times and I guess I tend not to bother with these services as I am testing the handset for a short period. Preferably I would test a handset for up to 4 to 6 months as a lot can happen in that time i.e. system updates, making the Motorola Services a part of my life for the duration of a long term test to see if they make a difference to my lifestyle. In my test thus so far, a little over two weeks, it has been all good!

It very well could that the Moto E 4G LTE will get the Android M (Moon Pie) update which could be quite significant as Google have done a U-turn on external memory thus making it possible for apps to run from the microSD card.

Google isn’t, as reported by lazy cheap headline grabbing media, abandoning Samsung as the prolific manufacturer has forgone the microSD card expansion on its latest Galaxy S6 & Edge handset. If that were true then you could say that Google is abandoning its own Nexus line which never had a microSD card expansion slot. You will find that a handset with 32 GB of onboard storage more than enough for the most prolific hardcore user! I still have about 23 GB left on my Nexus 6! I also opted for the 64 GB version of the Galaxy S6 Edge with plenty of storage to spare!

When the Galaxy Note 4, for example, gets the Android M update, in due course, owners are not going to try and install just about every app going on Google Play onto the microSD card! Seriously, how many of the same apps do you need? How many of you have all the free calling apps going? Anyway, what Android 6, M means is that budget handsets with a low internal storage capacity, such as the Moto E 4G LTE reviewed here, can benefit through the microSD extension (and allowing apps to run from it). The 8 GB Moto E 4G LTE becomes a 40 GB device (adding the highest external capacity of 32 GB).

I would imagine that Google will allow for a microSD card on the forthcoming Nexus range of devices later this year. And perhaps Samsung will return to the microSD card on its premium devices (it remains to be seen if the Galaxy Note 5 – scheduled for September – will retain the microSD card slot). If you have a premium handset with a minimum of 32 GB or even 16 GB I don’t think Android 6, M will mean a great deal to you in terms of the new microSD card embellishment / functionality.

Using the Moto E 4G LTE on a daily basis in the relatively short time I had with it I found it to be a very enjoyable experience.

To recap or encapsulate the Moto E 4G LTE experience... I felt totally at ease with it; I could place it in any pocket... I carry all 8 of my Android handsets around with me for various reasons that I won’t get into... Lol! To be able to slip the Moto E 4G LTE in a trouser pocket or shoulder bag was / is a boon because the Gorilla Glass 3 protection puts my mind at ease that it will not scratch or crack through everyday usage. In other words I found myself not being prissy with it.

Taking photos and shooting videos was a stress free process as the handset is nice and thick which makes handling very natural. I don’t need a flip-case to steady it for the purpose of using the camera like I do my premium babies! Lol!

The sound coming from the one speaker at the front is loud and not tinny; taking calls and playing Dead Trigger 2 was very pleasurable. The sound is crystal! I just wished that it featured stereo speakers like its Moto G cousin! There again I think adding an additional speaker would have increased the size a little which would have been pointless as the Moto G exists already. I immediately want to replace all my underperforming devices with this brilliant budget handset! Out goes the RAZRi, Fonepad 7 LTE (what was I thinking?) and HTC One X – potentially! I do need to replace these underperforming handsets soon! Could it be that I’ll get 3 Moto E 4G LTE devices? We’ll see...

I would not hesitate in recommending the Motorola Moto E 4G LTE as a main handset for young people. Sadly, society is revealing a very ugly side of itself of late and if I had a child or children going to school I would want him / her / them to have a handset so that I know where he or she or they are, if they are going to be off schedule and / or track them through location apps (if necessary). That’s just me as a would be parent.

For sure I would have it as a secondary (hee hee) or third handset (or even a tenth); it is inexpensive enough to purchase outright and therefore one could take out a SIM only contract.

I can also recommend it as an only handset for those who do not require the power of premium handsets; yes there are some people out there who don’t appreciate these powerful do-everything-but-make-coffee handsets. Some users just want to use social networking apps and aren’t too fussed about taking print quality photos that could appear in magazines (digital or printed) and / or get email on the fly.

I do believe that the Motorola Moto E 4G LTE is worthy of the title “Budget Smartphone”. It performs very well on an all round basis. This is the first time in my testing career that I can say that I am “happy” with a sub £100 handset that is pretty much a smartphone. Some of these sub £100 handsets aren’t powerful enough be affixed with the word “smart”.

Think about it... What sub £100 smartphone you know of that is capable of running a game like Dead Trigger 2 without any discernible lag? I say “discernible” because I am not a game fan / player! I tend to use my handsets for work purposes or with the crappy ones I sometimes use as an MP3 player. I am not one of these reviewers that actively play games and scrutinize for game lag and / or dropped frames. I could, however, become a games addict thanks to the Moto E 4G LTE – it would help if I could prevent my game character from being killed off in seconds on the second level! Yeah, I suck at games. But with the Moto E 4G LTE I am a winner! 

The Motorola Moto E 4G LTE gets a well deserved Synapse Circuit Platinum! Awesome!

Check out the results of the Moto E 4G LTE camera using the links below:-

Photo Slideshow (including HDR and some unfocused shots)

Video - Unaltered / unedited video from the Motorola Moto E 4G LTE

Slow Motion Video – This video was created using the Android app, CyberLinkPowerDirector on the Moto E 4G LTE

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