Sometimes the simple ideas are the best. Presenting the Darch Resonator

I’m now a few weeks in to testing some of the work that we are doing here at DMLab at the wonderful Riverside School, and it’s time to share some of our findings.

The first thing to say, is that when you go to work with a group of children with specific access needs, then not everything is going to work. This probably sounds obvious, but it’s an important thing to remember, and certainly there have been several of the DMLab groups new instruments which just aren’t right for these children and will be getting an outing at a later project.

The biggest earlier success was an adaptation of a lever arch folder by Dave Darch. Yes that’s a ring binder. Using a drill and some gaffa tape (mine is posh, I used elastic), Dave has conceived a brilliant and effective vibrating speaker platform for an iPad. If you place it on your lap, you can feel the cardboard vibrating with the music.

Total cost £15-£20.

Presenting – the Darch Resonator!


To make your own you will need:

  • an X-Mini speaker
  • a ring binder
  • some gaffa tape (or some elastic if you’re feeling posh)

Cut a hole to fit the X-Mini, I used a hole saw. And that’s about it!

Dave has also used a headphone splitter cable in his to allow for the output to still go to a main PA system, while the Darch Resonator provides local monitoring and vibration.

In practice I have found that some children really like to poke the speaker, so it may be that a hidden speaker version is in the pipeline.

If you decide to build a Darch Resonator then let us know how you get on and if you make any modifications or improvements send us a picture!