Connect Electric Guitar?

Hi - I’m brand new to Elk and looking forward to getting started.

I have an Elk-Pi and Raspberry Pi 4 here. I am looking into creating a guitar effect app. My first and most basic question is, what’s the best and lowest-latency way to connect an electric guitar to the Elk-Pi? Do I just need to get a 1/4”-to-1/8” TS adapter and plug into the input jack on the Elk-Pi?


Indeed analog audio input is what is expected. You will need a compatible Audio “Hat”, and you will need to connect your audio jack to that hat’s input - not to the input of your RPi4 - the RPi4 audio I/O remains unused.

The hats supported are the following: Elk supports audio hats from HiFiBerry, such as the DAC+ ADC and the DAC+ ADC Pro.

Ilias of Elk

Thank you for the prompt reply Ilias!

So I see that the inputs on the Hifiberry units are 1/8” and RCA left and right. What is the typical approach for connecting a mono guitar 1/4” TS cable to this? 1/4”-to-1/8” adapter? 1/4”-to-RCA adapter, and plug to the Left RCA input?

Thanks again.


On the Pro I used I recall the input was the minijack - the RCA’s were the output.

Their product page confirms this:

Ilias of Elk

Great, thank you Ilias.

Hello everyone,

I’ve just taken delivery of a HiFiBerry DAC+ADC Pro. I’m a bit confused as I expected the main I/O connector to be male, however it’s female. So do I connect the HiFiBerry unit to the Raspberry Pi instead of using the Elk Pi? I was under the the impression that we use the Pi, Elk-Pi, and HiFiBerry unit all together? If I’m trying to use this with guitar as mentioned earlier in this thread, does this mean I don’t actually need the Elk-Pi at all?


I’m terribly sorry, indeed you mention that you have the Elk-Pi - if you have that you do not need the HiFiBerry - The Elk-Pi is an audio hat.

Elk-Pi’s are not so common, and the last batch was made some time ago now, meaning any new users we have use the HiFiBerry’s. Since this was your first post on this forum I went with this incorrect assumption.

To answer your original question, the Elk-Pi has two mini-jack connectors, one is the output, and has a volume control, and the other is the input, and lacks the volume control, as per image 3:

I hope you can return the HiFiBerry, and apologize for not reading your first post more carefully.

Ilias of Elk

Moreover, the Elk-Pi supports more audio inputs from its pins - you can find the full documentation on the Elk-Pi datasheet in our online Docs:

Hi Ilias,

No problem at all - yes I can easily return the HiFiBerry! I’m glad to hear this, I was definitely a little confused b/c reading the specs on the Elk-Pi on the website certainly indicates that it has all the needed inputs! I have had this Elk-Pi sitting in a drawer unused for some time now, and am just now getting to tinker with it, hence my freshness to this forum. :slight_smile:

Ok thanks again, I will likely be back on these forums soon with other questions as I dive deeper. Thanks!

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