The Wind Instrument Acoustic Toolkit

for Musical Acoustic Research and Music Instrument Design

This project was started by Antoine Lefebvre at McGill University while conducting multidisciplinary reasearch in music technology. The objective is to develop computer-aided wind music instrument design tools. The computer programs are primarily the result of scientific research and thus are highly specialized and require an acoustics background to understand and use properly. References to the pertinent literature are included in the source code. Understanding the program generally requires reading the references. Collaborators are welcome.


The Wind Instrument Acoustic Toolkit software environment is a package of computer programs written in the Python language, useful for researchers in wind instrument musical acoustic and eventually for the wind instrument designer. Current features include:

  • calculation of linear input impedance of waveguides composed of cylindrical and conical sections with toneholes using one-dimensional transmission matrix method. (Python package named TM)
  • calculation of input impedance of varying cross-section waveguides using multimodal decomposition method. (Python Package named MM)
  • optimization routines for the design of wind instrument prototypesk (not ready yet).
  • support the processing of impedance measurement data from Matlab files to extract information for comparison with simulation results
  • automatic generation of reports for easy incorporation into publications and/or web sites.


The software is written in Python and uses the Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib packages. It should run on all platforms with Python 2.5 installed and has been tested on Linux and Windows XP. Problems installing Scipy on Mac OS X has been reported.


  • See Readme for more information.
  • This package contains impedance measurement data files and boundary element simulation results. They are used in some of the examples and tests to check the validity of the calculations.


Wiat 0.1.0 released [June 2008]

Initial release of wiat - The Wind Instrument Acoustic Toolkit, version 0.1.0. It is available for download. If you find any bugs, or have suggestions for improving it, please report them. Contact information is included in the README file of the software.


  • Author: Antoine Lefebvre
  • Contributors: Géraud Boudou, Gary Scavone