Tools & Resources

Last modified 9-29-2014

In this section of the Experimental Musical Instruments web site you’ll find various items of use to musical instrument makers.
Posted here at this time are two software programs for instrument making, some articles on instrument making, and product information for some of the items we sell.

ExMI’s Free-Bar Length Calculator
Software that allows you to calculate bar lengths for free-bar instruments such as marimbas and xylophones, tubulons, chimes, metallophones and the like.

ExMI’s Fret-Placement Calculator
An applet for use in designing fretted string instruments. You tell it your string length and what sort of scale you want, and it’ll tell you where to put the frets.

Overtone Tuning in Lamellaphones
How to tune the overtones to get a clearer tone in mbiras, kalimbas, sansas and non-traditional home-mades in the lamellaphone family.

How to Make a Driftwood Xylophone
A video on one particularly rewarding way to have fun at the beach.

Making Self-Resonating Chimes
An article on how to tune the air column within a tubular chime to match the chiming pitch of the metal for added resonance. 

Software on the Web
A list of web sites offering a string scaling calculator, tonehole placement calculator, several tuning system calculators, and the like.

Product Information Literature
Documentation for hardware products that previously were sold at Experimental Musical Instruments. (We no longer sell hardware; these same products and more are now available from

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