After a performance disaster at an outdoor jazz concert, woodwind specialist Mark Dooly knew playing flute outside was risky.
“We pull up the first tune, I step up to the mic, a gust of wind hits me in the face, and no sound comes out,” Dooly says.
Dooly wanted a solution that could make playing the flute possible even with wind blowing from the opposite direction. He partnered with engineers, designers, and professional flute players. After 21 iterations, starting with a plastic spoon and a rubber band, the Win-D-Fender entered the market. The final design sits atop the flute’s lip plate, shielding it from sound-hampering wind.
During product testing, the team found other benefits. The Win-D-Fender creates a sound mirroring effect. It helps players hear themselves better without actually amplifying their playing to audiences.
“The flute section is always overblowing, and it causes tuning problems, so we’re seeing band programs start to use [the Win-D-Fender] indoors as well as outdoors, so that players can hear themselves better,” Dooly says.
The product also makes placing a microphone directly across from the lip plate possible, shielding the microphone from the player’s air stream.
Some people speculate that the Win-D-Fender may curb the disbursement of respiratory droplets that spread COVID-19. A few universities are conducting independent studies, Dooly says.
The Win-D-Fender is made in the United States. Visit win-d-fender.com for more information.