What is PMI and how to get rid of it – Star Real Estate Services

What is PMI and how to get rid of it – Star Real Estate Services – About PMI What is PMI and how to get rid of it Real estate lenders are a funny lot. It seems they're happy to lend anybody money. Assuming a half-way decent credit rating, any potential home buyer can...

Clear Advantages Of Buying Property

People use their home as their investment. They build homes and sell it to other people to have a budget in building up a new home. It is very sad on. There are so many different cities and towns that you can choose to go to or buy property from. There are certain...

Interior Archives

Hall Decorating Ideas If you are looking for some tips to decorate the Hall of your House, here I propose a series of useful solutions. It is important that our spaces are beautiful, But it is also important that we decoremos them functionally. Sometimes we pay as...

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What is PMI and how to get rid of it – Star Real Estate Services

What is PMI and how to get rid of it – Star Real Estate Services

What is PMI and how to get rid of it – Star Real Estate Services – About PMI What is PMI and how to get rid of it

Real estate lenders are a funny lot. It seems they’re happy to lend anybody money. Assuming a half-way decent credit rating, any potential home buyer can secure a loan for a house. Why? Because these transactions are secured by a very valuable asset: the home itself. If a borrower defaults on a loan, the risk for the lender is often only the difference between the value of the home and the amount outstanding on the loan, less the amount it costs them to foreclose and resell the property.

For this reason, lenders are very wary of lending more than a certain percentage of a home’s value. Traditionally, this has been 80 percent. The cushion this provides the lender helps ensure that their losses from loan defaults are kept to a minimum.

In recent years, however, it has become increasingly more common to see home buyers using down payments of 10, 5 or even 0 percent. Naturally, loaning this much presents the lenders with a lot more risk. To offset this risk, these transactions often require Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. This supplemental policy protects the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan, and the value of the house is lower than the loan balance.

PMI has been a large money-maker for the mortgage lenders. The amount of the insurance – often $40-$50 per month for a $100,000 house – is commonly rolled into the mortgage payment. Given the size of the overall payment, this additional fee is often overlooked. Homeowners continue to pay the PMI even after their loan balance has dropped below the original 80 percent threshold. This occurs naturally, of course, as the home owner pays down the principal on the loan. On a typical 30-year loan, however, it can take many years to reach that point.

Until recently lenders were under no obligation to tell home owners when they had reached a point where the PMI can be dropped. That all changed in 1999, when the Homeowners Protection Act took effect. In most cases, this law now obligates lenders to terminate the PMI when the principal balance of the loan reaches 78 percent of the original loan amount. Savvy homeowners can get off the hook a little earlier. The law stipulates that, upon request of the home owner, the PMI must be dropped when the principal amount reaches only 80 percent!

It is important to note that this law only applies to home loans – whether first time or refinances – that closed after July, 1999. Also certain other conditions must be met, such as being current on the loan payments. Buyers that purchased before July 1999 can also have their PMI removed, but they must initiate the process and though the lender is under no obligation to do so, most will.

Of course, there is another way that home owner’s equity can reach beyond the 80/20 percent ratio. Many areas of the United States have seen significant gains in the value of real estate over the past decade. In fact, certain areas have seen appreciation levels of 100 percent or more. Even those people living in areas with more modest gains may find that the value of their property has quickly grown to the point where the amount of principal they owe on their loan is less than 80 percent of the home’s current value. Again, in these cases, the lenders are under no legal obligation to remove the PMI. In most cases, however, as long as the home owner has been prompt on their loan payments and don’t represent an exceptional risk, the lenders will agree to remove the extra fees.

The hardest thing for most home owners to know is just when does their home equity rise above this magical 20 percent point? A certified, licensed real estate appraiser can certainly help. It is an appraiser’s job to know the market dynamics of their area. They know when property values have risen – or declined. Many appraisers offer specific services to help customers find the value of their homes and remove PMI payments. Faced with this data, the mortgage company will most often eliminate the PMI with little trouble. The savings from dropping the PMI pays for the appraisal in a matter of months. At which time, the home owner can enjoy the savings from that point on.

Clear Advantages Of Buying Property

Clear Advantages Of Buying Property

People use their home as their investment. They build homes and sell it to other people to have a budget in building up a new home. It is very sad on. There are so many different cities and towns that you can choose to go to or buy property from. There are certain things to be considered in buying a property, the weather, best location, can bite your taste and comforts you.  They are abundant of that domain.

Like other countries there are rules to be followed in having a property. Here are the some of the basic steps to help you understand the procedures and legal acts that are required in acquiring a property.

• The use of government licensed estate agent, for at least they are bonded by State in the form of an Insurance Cover that may be claimed against in the case of proven dispute.

• Buyer may also use the so called “Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda” or Promissory Contract detailing the conditions of the Sale. This contract is then legalized by registering it in the Notary Office.

Things To Know Before Buying A Home

If you are taking the next step in life and purchasing a home, chances are that you are feeling the pressure and the anxiety that goes along with this difficult decision.

Those who buy homes 

• This contract is legally binding on both sides and the law requires the seller to repay twice the deposit should he withdraw from the sale. Likewise, if the buyer fails to complete, he forfeits the total of his deposit. There are specific laws relating to this act that a lawyer will be able to explain.

• In having a lawyer to represent the buyer in their transaction, he or she needs a document named “Procuração Publica”, prepared with the necessary details and then in the Notary Office, this document is signed and registered by the Notary.

As it has been noted, this website tries to provide the latest Real Estate Listings  and Great Falls Mt Real Estate Agents information. Please read all the articles found here to get all the Real Estate Listings San Rafael facts.

Buying Your First Home? Here’s What You Need To Know

You have made the decision to make one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your life-buying your first home . You’re excited, but at the same time.

• Every buyer is required to obtain a Fiscal Number from the local Tax Office or Finanças.

• Proceeding to act of purchase, the purchase will be subject to a Municipal payment named “IMT – Imposto Municipal sobre Transamissões” which as from the 1st of January 2003 replaces the previous tax payment named “SISA”. This payment is paid in the local Tax Office nearest to the property. The amount to be paid is related in terms of percentage by “platforms” to the cost of the property being purchased. In limited cases the buyer will be exempt from paying this tax.

Homes Of Your Dreams

Want to leave in the largest of the five boroughs. This place is located on western Long Island. It is the most ethnically diverse country in the United …• When all requirements have been completed the transaction can proceed in any Notary Office. This act is known as the “Escritura de Compra e Venda” which takes place in front of the selected Notary and is recorded in his official books. The Notary will check prior to the act of sale that all the necessary documents are correct to ensure that the sale can precede according to the facts provided.

It is at this moment that payment is normally completed to the seller, and when applicable, the balance of purchase has to be made according to the signed Contract in Point 2 above. After the act is recorded the Notary Office, it will issue a photocopy of the entry which is the proof to the buyer that the act has officially taken place. The photocopy will carry the seal of the Notary but as further official copies can be requested at any time this document should not be mistaken for a “Title Deed”.

Tips On How To Sell Homes 

Selling your home can be exciting, but it also takes work. It may have been spurred by the desire to live in a nicer home, the need to move for a new job, or the necessity to handle on out of control costs. But .Every year all the owners of any property is required to pay the annual tax called “IMI” (formerly know as “Contribução Autarquica”). It is most important to pay these charges as the failure for doing so eventually results in the property being placed for sale on the market by the State and goes to the highest bidder.

Having a new life is not hard. There are many ways how to earn money and let your self survive in daily needs, like there are investment opportunities. The ongoing Reform in the Forestry Sector creates a positive differentiation, favoring large-size forestry areas and allowing new plantations to access high-quality soils.

Temperate climate and soil quality offer optimal growth conditions for valuable species such as cork, eucalyptus, pine and other noble woods, which can help one to supply their needs.

Place that answers your dreams. It is a paradise created by God for the people of the new generations. So what are you waiting for? Grab a piece of land from this exotic place and enjoy life in a laidback way.

Marketing The High-End Real Estate To Baby Boomers

A “Baby Boomer” is anyone born between the years 1945 and 1965, and this slang term is referring to the spike in birth rates that many North American and European countries experienced after the end of World War II – a baby …
There is so much information on the subject of Real Estate Listings.

Mortgage vs Deed Trust

Most of us think of our home loan as a mortgage, when that isnt particularly true. When a borrower agrees to pay a lender a certain amount of money, under certain conditions, the borrower will sign a promissory note. A lender will then require the borrower to sign a mortgage, as a security tool to give the lender a legal form of security. A mortgage is a written document to protect the lenders.

If you are considering purchasing a home through the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) program you will need to understand that it is a very different procedure than buying a home on the open market. There are a myriad of issues concerning the application and approval process. If you are willing to work with HUD however, you can find homes that suite your taste and budget.
A home warranty is not much different from a warranty you might have on your car, your computer or your home entertainment center. A warranty on your home usually covers all of your homes major mechanical systems, including hot tubs, pools, wells, septic tanks and all of your appliances. Some policies even cover the roof of your home and almost anything else youd like to include.
If you are a first time homebuyer or are in the low to moderate income range, buying a home listed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is an appealing option. HUD homes are actually available to anyone who can qualify for a mortgage. Although they are popular with lower income families, they are also appropriate for savvy consumers looking for a great deal.
Your lender is one person that can make or break you with finances towards your home. Before you become involved with anyone that will involve your money, you need to make sure that they are going to offer you the best. Once you know some basic concepts, you can begin to find a lender that will fit your needs. The first set of characteristics that you will want to look for with a lender.


Interior Archives

Interior Archives

Hall Decorating Ideas

If you are looking for some tips to decorate the Hall of your House, here I propose a series of useful solutions. It is important that our spaces are beautiful, But it is also important that we decoremos them functionally. Sometimes we pay as much attention to decorate the Hall, and it is a big mistake on our part.


Beautiful Cushions for Home

The cushions are most important in what we think in our decoration because they are the perfect accent for any room of rest such as the living room or bedrooms. It is usual to decorate bed with beautiful cushions to decorate it and the sofa in the living room to turn it into a much more comfortable sofa.


Nerustico Interior Decorating Style

The neorustico style is all a trend in interior design as a result of the turn of trends past as vintage, rustic, chic shabby, etc. Get mixing rustic with other more current design is the crux of the matter in the neorustico style which began to prevail in the decoration of interiors.

Trendy Style Decoration


If you are looking for a different style of decoration sure that you’ll be thinking of different decorations as vintage, retro, classic, traditional, Feng Shui, the Eastern industrial, modern, the minimalist, Baroque, and a long etc. of styles. And it is that there are many styles of interior decorating to satisfy all tastes.

Creating a Reading Corner

It is a fact, readership grows more each year, and as a result, all are looking for a nice place where to spend time entertaining and immersed in the pleasure of reading. To install your reading area is necessary not to have a large space, nor make a great investment.

Stair Decorating Ideas

The stairs can be placed in different sites such as, at the entrance of the houses, in the lounge or separating spaces. In addition to its own function, there are something in common in any type of staircase is that normally leave under other valuable space, which we can use as it interested in multitude of ways.

Ways to To be a Successful Property Manager

Ways to To be a Successful Property Manager

The greatest objective associated with buying rental property will be turn a profit. To be sure that you use that target it is essential that you adhere to various important rules.

1st, be sure a person examine recommendations. This is often a troublesome step a large number of landlords ignore whenever they sense just as if the Masai have a excellent behavioral instinct around the renter once they discuss with these. Not checking referrals; withal, can lead to a number of difficulties. You possibly can discover a great deal of information about probable issues before you rent to your possible renter.

Always make sure that you have everything in producing. That is to shield not only your own rights and also your proper rights of one’s tenants too. Many techniques from the code of conduct you expect house owners for you to follow while letting your belongings towards renting app on its own must be written.

You can find that you’ve got best achievements with your rental property through some time to ensure it is equally secure as well as clean up. The grounds in the residence really should be freed from obvious along with cut on a regular basis. Not simply will the home and property be more successfully desirable however , these behavior may also advise you regarding house indebtedness. You will additionally would like to get extra security measures. Added security just might decrease premiums as well as provide an bonus to excellent tenants to be able to rip your home if they know it is safe.

According to real estate expert , If one makes current debts lease a property administrator, take the time to interview possible individuals cautiously. Residence supervisors is often rather useful if you do not possess the the perfect time to often all of the inside information oneself. A bad home administrator; nevertheless, might cause you actually incredible difficulties. Consequently you will need to lease A extensively liable and specialist single to address the position.

Be sure you have satisfactory policy. Not merely in case you have home insurance policy and you should also have indebtedness insurance coverage. One incidental is perhaps all it requires in order to annihilate your purchase. Consult your state to view if any extra insurance plan is required.

Style and color . condition the home and property was a student in if you purchased it, there’ll semen a time when maintenance are needed. It is part associated with possessing rental property. Invest the too much time to generate maintenance tasks, not only can your premises undergo and maintenance tasks could eventually are more expensive to address however , you may also very likely suffer choice tenants at the same time. By designing sure you handle maintenance tasks instantly it will be easy to take care of everything of your property together with preserve good tenants.

Big event a person abide by wholly suitable restrictions inside the hiring of your respective investment home. The Honest Homes Current administration Take action offers correct rules so as to keep favoritism. In the event you breach those people regulations you could see on your own experiencing a lawsuit that is dear(p) when it comes to time period along with money. The best course of action would be to invest time to research your options as well as seek the advice of an attorney experienced in solid property issues for advice with regards to the Federal housing administration along with making certain there is a proper kinds.

Using these types of suggestions will help you keep quality property owners avoiding any kind of possible legal problems.


Tried And True Real Estate Investing Tips

Tried And True Real Estate Investing Tips

Getting into real estate is something that most people would be interested in doing. To help you get started in this field, it pays to take your time thoroughly researching everything about jody kriss real estate investing. Continue reading to find effective tips and techniques to guide you in your real estate venture.

Before investing money into any properties, you should do your research and analyze the market. Look at between 50 and 100 properties in a location you desire, and create a spreadsheet with each one. On the spreadsheet list the price, necessary repairs and expected rental income. This will help you figure out what the good investments are in that area.

Before investing in any type of real estate, it pays to be thoroughly educated on the subject. Doing so can give you a lot of useful advice about how to make money in real estate. It is recommended that you research as much information as possible to better your chances of success.

Put in the time to learn the business as much as you do practicing it. As a result, it might be necessary to give up a few of life’s “luxuries.” Become a better real estate investor by dedicating yourself to the task.

Connect with other investors in real estate. It is essential that you connect with those who have more experience in order to get good advice. It’s useful to have a few colleagues who know more about real estate investing than you do. You can find a community of investors online. Find forums to be active on and find meetings in your area.

The areas that you buy property in should be fairly well-known and appealing. By doing so, when it comes time to sell, you’ll see an optimal return. Easy maintenance should be a deciding factor in the property as well.

Never think that a property’s value is just going to rise every time. Sometimes, you will lose money, which could cost you a lot. Instead, you should look for property that offers quick cash flow boosts. Property value appreciation will help you invest in future properties.

Keep a handyman nearby when you are considering buying a property. If you don’t, your profits may be sucked up by repair costs. A reliable handyman can also address any emergency repairs that your tenants may spring on you at night.

If you are planning to do home improvements with digging involved, make sure you find out where lines, if any, are buried It may even be illegal to dig before checking for lines, first.

Try to stay away from rougher neighborhoods. A crucial point to buying property is to know the area very well. Research it. If a deal seems too good, that may mean it’s located in a bad neighborhood. It makes it harder to turn and might suffer damage.

You must be able to earn that money back that’s invested in your property, and a bit extra. By failing to ensure a healthy profit, your investment is only an asset that may lead to a loss over time. Renovate the property, then list it for a higher price.

Get along with other investors! Instead of seeing fellow real estate investors and buyers as competition, try working together. By working well with others, you can network and increase your overall success rate. If you help other people you end up getting helped more in return. This will help your credibility.

Stay out of real estate when you don’t have a reserve of cash at your fingertips. The cash you place aside can be used in paying expenses such as rental property repairs. Another reason it is important to have reserve cash is in case you aren’t able to rent your property right away. You will surely have expenses to meet, whether you have a renter or not.

As a real estate investor, you are going to experience both good times and bad times. It is important that you do not let those lows convince you to give up. Just keep at it and things will soon pay off. Continue to learn, keep working, and the results will come your way.Real Estate

No doubt investing in real estate can make a person rich quite quickly. But, it is essential to know what you are doing before you invest heavily into real estate. Hopefully the information described in the article has helped you gain a better understanding of the real estate market.  For more about real estate and jody kriss you can go here: http://www.downtownmagazinenyc.com/the-real-new-york-jody-kriss-east-river-partners/

How To Use Local Listings To Find Luxury Rental Homes

How To Use Local Listings To Find Luxury Rental Homes

Local listings are very helpful when it comes to looking for luxurious rentals. General house consider as luxury have more amenities beyond the basic ones. You will find houses with rooftop swimming pools, spas and fitness center among others.

Use key words to help you get your ideal house

Local listings are in various categories from the business rentals to vacation rentals. By now you are full aware of the kind of luxury you want if it is a swimming pool, sauna, fitness center and spa. These are the key words you should be looking at in the local listings. Real estate expert Michael chudi ejekam has realized that most people in search luxury rentals used such particulars. This is the why they making the work easier for renters by using them in the local listings.

Share the listings with your trusted realtor

You may have the listing that you think is appropriate but just to be sure; give your local agent to go through them. This is to ensure that the houses listed are legit. Scamists have the tendency to use words that would attract clients. For instance, you would find “luxurious apartment with pools” going for half the market price. People who are naïve might fall for such kind of advertisements calling for the reason to give an agent to see it is legit.

Use up to date and accurate listings

You might be looking at a local listing with houses that were already taken. So, for you not to waste much time, use the internet to check if the list is current like Rego Park just listed rentals. One good thing with checking listings on the internet is that you find a category of houses available so that you do not take much time going through the entire list. If you miss out on the rental you wanted in a certain estate, there are other similar options close to the place you wanted that you can reconsider.

If possible, check the listing frequently

Luxurious rentals are on very high demand more so among the middle class people. This is a segment that is always growing so the demand for houses becomes high. This simply implies if you are not aggressive with the search, the next time you are checking the list, the houses will be gone. People rent houses on a daily basis and may be you are relying on a list you saw last week. Without deception, you will automatically miss your ideal house that you had in mind. They services like atlanta septic tank are even included in the package.

Use a listing of a preferred location

Local listings are available in every city so you should have one with rentals at your favorable place. Just have in mind that local Real estate listings by Jody Kriss act as a guide for you to get a house that you preferred having. Make sure that look into all the particulars you want in your house.

Real Estate Investing, Read This Article To Learn It All

Real Estate Investing, Read This Article To Learn It All

Newbies and veterans alike may have trouble with investing in a property. If you want to learn solid tips about real estate investing, you have come to the right place. Read on for some helpful ideas to see success in your real estate investments.

Do proper research before real estate investing. Select a location, pick out a number of properties, and then go inspect and compare them. You should look at prices, anticipated rents and repair budgets. This will allow you to target the right properties.

Prior to starting your real estate investments, choose a particular submarket to focus on. Some like to flip properties and that may be ideal for you as well. You might enjoy the challenge of revamping projects or rebuilding them from scratch. Different work is required for each, and you can then hone your skills.

Do not purchase anything that has not been inspected by an unbiased professional. Michael Chu’di ejekam is one such professional. you can reach the real estate expert michael chudi ejekam at http://michaelchudiejekamgreenbuilding.com/  Some sellers may try to cover the inspections, however, they could choose someone that likes them. Hire your own person.

When looking at your business strategy, understand your sunk costs that go beyond the general price of the home. You also need to factor in costs for closing, staging and legal matters. When figuring out your margins, remember to include these costs as line items.

If you want to start investing in real estate, think about the amount of time you have available for managing properties. There are many issues that you may face with the tenants. If you really don’t think you have time to do these things, a property management company should be hired to assist you.
Be certain to choose regions that have good reputations and where lots of people want to live. This is very important because it could give you the best amount of resale when you go about your purchase. Also, you should only choose easily maintainable properties.

It can be extremely helpful to sit back and listen during negotiations. If you try to dominate the negotiation right out of the gate, chudi ejekam will know everything and can actually end up bidding you higher than they would have accepted to begin with. Finally, by listening closely, you will know when to offer your best deal.Real Estate

Don’t spend your money on real estate with doing the research first. Investing in real estate can lead to hefty losses when you are careless. By taking the time to research the basics, you can protect your investment.

Be very patient when beginning. The real estate deal you want could take a while for you to get sometimes. There may not be the right properties out there, or your terms couldn’t be met. Don’t be overly anxious to close a deal when everything isn’t just right. You will inevitably lose money if you do. Bide your time until an outstanding opportunity arises.

Avoid buying real estate if it ends up eating into your bank account or cash that you keep aside for emergencies. Investing in real estate can tie up money for long stretches of time, and often not show returns for many years. Don’t let this hurt your daily life.

Never buy properties only to run up the number that you totally own. Many new investors try this and end up failing. You should always have the mindset of quality over quantity. Doing that will ensure you get your money’s worth.

It is easier to invest in more than one property if they are all located in the same area. Doing this, allows you to save on travel related expenses when taking trips to each of your properties. You’ll also build up real estate market expertise in the geographical area of your choosing.

Foreclosure listing services are something you will want to look into. You end up saving a lot of time because you don’t have to contact other people to get this information. These are usually kept current and will aid your research.

Don’t invest in property if you don’t have a cash reserve set aside. These funds can be used to pay any expenses involved with owning a rental property. Another reason why it’s important to have cash stashed away is that you may not have enough money when you do not have renters. Even when no one is occupying the property, you still have bills to pay.

Be sure that you get advice from experts. Before bidding on any property, it is best to get as much information as possible on it from someone with plenty of experience in this market. Speak to appraisers or agents, for instance. This will give you some extra information on which you can base your decision.

The suggestions given above have hopefully enlightened you as to how the field operates. Now that you have all of this information available to you, it is time to go out and make some great investments. To get positive results, use these tips and stay up-to-date on the market. You can also give Jody Kriss, Real estate analyst a call at http://aboutjodykriss.com/ send an email his way and he can definiteky answer all your real estate concerns.

Futuristic Music Design Challenge: Meet the Competitors, Judges

What’s the big idea in designing new interfaces for music? Just about everything, judging from the finalist entries for our Futuristic Music Design Challenge. A sequencer with bubblegum balls? A synth that works with surface temperature data and maps? Microtonal guitars, sound-making boxes, Nintendo games, digitally-connected saws and tape on bicycle wheels? Gloves, buttons, lights, strings, turntables? Yep, we’ve pretty much got the gamut here. We told contestants to make the Second Space Age proud. Now we get to see how they hold up.

Check out some of the videos and photos of what’s to come to get a sense of the projects, and if you’re attending Yuri’s Night Bay Area, be sure to get there by 2:30pm to watch these artists compete with each other in front of our expert judging panel. (See the Yuri’s Night Bay Area event schedule.)

Join this event on Facebook — and say hi!

After the show, get up-close-and-personal with the artists later on at the Create Digital Music booth. On the same stage, at 3:30 pm, our friends at Instructables.com have a show-and-tell session for even more DIY goodness. And then there are the installations, acrobats, space things, major scientists and thinkers… and, of course, stick around for a huge lineup of incredible music all night long. I’m going to figure out how I can be three places at once, personally, because there’s loads I want to see.

See you Saturday afternoon, California-bound peoples. Those of you not lucky enough to be in the Bay Area, stay tuned right here for more online coverage following the competition — plus the winner.

The Judges

Roger Linn is a leading designer of electronic music products, and is considered by many to be the father of the modern drum machine, as the designer behind his original LM-1 and the legendary Akai MPC60. He also wrote hits for the likes of Eric Clapton and Mary Chapin Carpenter — and he plays traditional Italian songs on mandolin monthly.

Liz Enthusiasm is the lead singer for indie synthpop band Freezepop, the “sweet and cold and fruity and plastic-y” band that has earned a passionate following among geeks and a spot on virtually every Harmonix game ever made, from FreQuency to Rock Band. And she sings a song with the digits of Phi. And undertakes in-depth studies of Dr. Pepper variants. Yum. (Photo:lisztless.)

Peter Kirn is the creator/editor of Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, communities and online zines for bleeding-edge digital creative types making computers into live visual and musical instruments. He’s also a composer, media artist, and classically-trained musician, and quasi-expert on the emerging nerdster scene. (Photo: Chachi Jones.)


Matt Ganucheau has produced music for games, film, and live electronic music, and teaches sound design for video games at the Expression College for Digital Arts. He’s one of the organizers of Yuri’s Night Bay Area. And he made an infamous art installation simulating female orgasm — as musical instrument, no less — and another that challenged our relationship to trees and the environment.

The Competitors

Bubblegum Sequencer

Hannes Hesse & Andrew McDiarmid

The Bubblegum Sequencer is a physical step sequencer that lets you create drum loops by arranging colored balls on a tangible surface. It generates MIDI events and can be used as an input device to control audio hardware and software. Because the output is generated in the form of MIDI events, the Bubblegum Sequencer can be used to control any kind of audio hardware or software.

The Box

Evan Morris


Hardware/Software music system using a custom Reaktor ensemble running on a laptop that re-sequences samples for an actual live electronic music performance. The hardware is designed to give the user LED visual feedback to avoid ever having to look at the the laptop’s screen.

I used the ucapps midibox64 spec for the hardware.


Brick: Weather Report

Jordan Hochenbaum and Owen Vallis

Brick is a tangible touch interface that allows its users a very new, unique, intuitive, and hands-on approach to computer interaction. It is a blank canvas– and depending on the software it is running, it can be used for many things. We are exploring the many ways to use Brick as a meaningful and musical instrument. Our first use of the table is as an interactive installation called Weather Report, where the user sonifies real-time surface temperature data into beautiful mini-compositions. We are also interested in developing Brick for different live performance settings, to meet our own needs and the increasing needs of the vastly different kinds of today’s musicians.

The Kromatron

Craig Dorety


The Kromatron is a Dynamic Meta-Instrument designed to revolutionize the way musicians interact with performance-based electronic music software. It was designed with aesthetics considered to be a major issue. Most commercially available MIDI controllers are essentially boxes with knobs on them and leave a lot to be desired, aesthetically. I am trying to put some Rock and Roll back into electronic music performance by adding a true sense of style and design. This instrument is a well-crafted and beautiful device. The Kromatron is machined from clear acrylic and includes an internal lighting system that acts as user feedback. It also contains 128 user-defined configuration presets that can be called upon with MIDI patch change signals. This allows for complete and dynamic control of any MIDI based software or hardware. I will be using a CME WIDI wireless MIDI interface to allow for freedom of mobility.

The Thimbletron

The Evolution Control Committee.: TradeMark Gunderson, Christy Brand


For the last 20 years, The Evolution Control Committee has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading bands in sampling, making experimental pop music in a style that has never quite settled on a name. Plagiarhythm? Plunderphonics? Mashup? Collage? Whatever you call it, The ECC assembles samples and sounds into cut-and-paste masterpieces. It’s illegal music, and The ECC has been violating copyright laws since before it was easy.

The cut-and-paste aesthetic isn’t just for the music: Live shows feature custom-built performance equipment like the Thimbletron, connecting ordinary thimbles to recycled electronics, allowing live sample triggering and more. White jumpsuits and lab coats round out the mad science style. In the world of The ECC’s music, Public Enemy duke it out with Herb Alpert while TV news anchor Dan Rather is the new frontman for AC/DC (which earned The ECC a cease and desist order from CBS Network’s lawyers). Copyright violation never sounded so good.

The Looping Pedal

Jen Carlile, with Sasha Leitman, Steven Backer, Jesse Fox



The Looping Pedal is a giant DJ turntable made from abandoned bicycle parts and a dismantled reel to reel tape player.

Two pieces of 1/4″ analog tape are strung along the outside of two bicycle wheels which are mounted on hacked bicycle frames. Also mounted on the frames are two tape heads which pick up the signal from the analog tape. This is a loop in the most literal sense.

The instrument can make a typical “scratching” sound by pushing the wheel back and forth or it can create a different timbre by spinning the wheel freely. In addition to the “traditional” scratching gesture, the right wheel can be rotated using the attached pedal. The result is a sound that builds on the sound of turntable scratching while adding other sonic possibilities.


Luke Dahl


The WaveSaw is a flexible instrument for creating timbral gestures. As you flex and twist the WaveSaw the shape of the instrument becomes the shape of the sound waveform or spectrum.

Wavesaw paper PDF



Carl Lumma and Denny Genovese


2-sided handmade electric slide guitar with 28 strings, tuned in 15-limit just intonation. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Unless you like Harry Partch or Toby Twining.


Nathan Ramella

The future of turntablism, vinyl control of sample phrases allowing layering and complex manipulation with the aid of MIDI control. It may be a little vanilla for this contest but maybe not. I don’t know who else is entering. I think it’s pretty sick. It can’t even say this is the ‘evolution’ of scratching, I skipped about 3 steps and landed in 2030.

Ed. note: Nathan is the co-creator of the Unofficial Ableton Live API, making him a hero among music geeks.


Martin Robaszewski

GrooveStep is an innovating music-making program for the Nintendo DS which enables users to quickly create music using the touch screen interface.

Photo credits: Peter Kirn/Create Digital Media; Artists.