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winchimer — a simple windchime simulator for Windows

Version 0.3c, May 2012

winchimer is a simple windchime sound generator for Windows. It requires a MIDI output device, but most Windows version have a software synthesizer which fulfills this need if nothing better is available. winchimer supports a range of different scale types, and is tuneable for different simulated wind properties. winchimer is open source — see the Downloads section below.

System requirements

winchimer needs any reasonably modern version of Windows, and a soundcard. Memory and disk requirements are negligible.


Just run the installer and follow the instructions (see downloads below).


All controls take effect immediately they are changed.

Program: sets the MIDI program (instrument). All 127 conventional instruments are listed, although many will sound very peculiar in this application. Not all MIDI devices (or software synthesizers) will have all the conventional instruments available and, of course, more sophisticated ones may have additional sound banks not available to this simple program.

Chime type: sets the number of notes and the scale. In principle we could play any number of notes, but real windchimes rarely have more the seven sounding elements.

Base note: the starting note of the scale, in semitones, where middle C is '60'. The full MIDI range is available but lower notes will sound more like tubular bells than windchimes.

windspeed/gustiness: set the properties of the simulated wind. Windchimes do not chime much in a steady wind, even a strong one. It is a combination of the windspeed and its variability that stimulates the chimes. 'Gustiness' is a measure of the frequency with which the wind gusts above its average value. If the windspeed is high, then there will be more chimes when the wind gusts. These properties are set in the range 10-100; in general, better results come from using higher values.

Play/Stop: does what it says on the tin.

Save: write the current control settings to the configuration file. These settings are restored the next time the program is run.

Building from source

winchimer is designed to build with MingGW and Msys. If you don't know what those terms mean, this section isn't for you.

There are two source bundles in the download section — one with GTK for Windows and one without. If you already have GTK development libraries, edit the Makefile to indicate the location of the headers and libraries. If you have MinGW/bin and Msys/bin on the %PATH%, building the code should amount to no more than

make winbundle
This will compile the code, and copy the necessary GTK libraries to deploy/win32/winchimer, ready to be bundled up for installation.

Where's the Linux version?

Unfortunately, there isn't one yet. The problem is that the Linux platform does not provide a standard way to play MIDI notes. There is no shortage of software synthesizers for Linux, but there is no standard interface to them.

If anybody really wants a cross-platform windchime simulator, I have a Java version that will run on most platforms. It uses Java's built-in software synthesizer, which works, but doesn't sound great by modern standards.

Legal stuff

winchimer is copyright (c)2005-2012 Kevin Boone, distributed according to the GNU Public Licence, version 2. In essence that means that you may do whatever you like with the software, at your own risk, provided that the original authorship remains clear.


Windows installer
Source code with GTK for Windows
Source code
Copyright © 1994-2013 Kevin Boone. Updated Feb 08 2013