About the SIDEKICK bill of material

Hi !
I just finished my second mutable product the sidekick ! i put it on my smr-4 filterboard of my shruti for test.
great great toy !
But i have some comments for the guys like me (noob etc…)
The bill isn’t complete at all… and sometimes a little bit more advice about the assembly would be great…
i explain : in the BOM no nuts no washer no spacer no screw or button for so if you buy sidekick pcb and enclosure + parts you can’t finished this correctly So becarefull before your order
i think there’s problem with the height of the enclosure pots are to high and 8 pin don’t connect correctly first time i decide to remove the nuts of the filter but after you can’t touch the button
the solution i think it’s to use 15mm spacer and heighter button ?
It’s not a complain but i just understand it after my 3rd digikey order and i’m a little disapointed because i have to wait another month now I know i’m stupid i probably didn’t look enought pictures of the product
I hope you understand my frenglish

Well the nuts come with case methinks. And yeah the pots seem high but can’t you just find deep buttons. I’ve almost finished mine (which has taken me a few months). I scowered Tokyo and Akita for all the parts and still had to order quite a few (mostly pots and chips).
I would love to see a few more hints or even a YouTube video starring the sidekick. I think it’s a good product for Olivier to support as it’s a gateway product. I already want to build something else and I haven’t completed my first project yet. And I know very little about circuits.
However the sidekick board was an easy, quick and fun build for me but the filter , even with detailed instructions was a little scary.
Finally, I think the tuning will be tricky for me. Maybe the mkii will be easier as we won’t have to tune it. Any advice on tuning the sidekick?

All cases come with 8pcs M3x12, 8pcs M3 Nuts and 4 RubberFeet - the Hardware you need to Build a Case.
The Hardware to connect a Digital/Sidekick Board (8pcs M3x10, 8pcs M3Nut, 3 20mm M3 Spacers and for the Sissy ones Washers) are either provided with the Full Kit, or your Quest to source.


Oh, and it helps to Read the Manual where you could have seen this Picture:

Hopefully this frequently asked question is now resolved for eternity :wink:

Regarding the Filter Tuning:

“Tuning” a filter without a Digital board is a bit hard…

So just turn it as you like, theres no “right” or “wrong” just turn the Pots till it sound good with your Sidekick for you. Personally only with a Sidekick i’d leave the V/Oct and DC Offset untouched, just adjust the Resonance Trimmer to a useful setting and then turn the lowww Trimmer for your preferred Range.

For tuning a Filter to a Digital board refer to the Building Instructions.

The only thing that matters here is to set the resonance trimpot to get self-oscillation.

Range and V/Oct are useful when you want the filter to track the pitch of the oscillators (which are non-existant on the Sidekick) ; and it’s not the slow AR envelopes of the Sidekick that are going to click ; so “to hell” with the DC offset setting…

I couldn’t find the second page on that link;)

I finished it and it and plugged it up and started to tune it. The only thing I could get were two or three high pitched whines when the rates were all the way down (I think, sorry at work). Plus no incoming signal could be heard. The lights come on and change speed with rate change though.
I didn’t think this was right and after several tries I realized that ic7(on the smr4 board) had been seated backwards. It was reset but the whine and lack of incoming signal continue. Did I kill the chip? If so, dammit!

No incoming signal could be heard -> have you opened the VCA?

Have tuned the resonance trimmer on the filter board? Do you also get no sound when resonance is set to the maximum and cutoff to a medium value?


The video sucks and it’s a little long, sorry.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll stick with building guitars.

You won’t find the problem by messing with all the parameters all at once and without a bit of methodology…

  • Set the AR2>VCA and LFO2>VCA to 0 to make sure that the VCA is fully open all the time.
  • Check that the voltage on the VCA CV pin is +5V.
  • Set the AR1>F and LFO1>F to 0 and set the cutoff pot to the max to make sure that the VCF is fully open all the time.
  • Check that the voltage on the VCF CV pin is +5V.
  • Set the resonance to 0 and check that the voltage on the Q CV pin is 0V.

Now, feed a line-level external signal into the filter. Have you bridged or soldered a volume pot on the pads near the audio inputs?

Try to identify where the signal chain is broken (Start at 2 here since the signal source is external):