Using hardware SPI

I’m a bit of a beginner, so please excuse if what I’m asking doesn’t fit/is unrealistic!
I’m building a device (loop station for acoustic signals) which has both audio IO and a multi-pad (think Roland SPD-SX). I want to have it all running on the RPi and with low latency, so I thought Elk might be a good choice of OS.
Currently, I’m prototyping the pad, which will be based on Piezos.
I have the Hifiberry DAC+ ADC Pro on top of the RPI, and am using a breadboard with an MCP3008 to prototype IO. I think the GPIO side of things is fine, as according to hifiberry the reserved pins don’t interfere with my config.

I want to prototype this with Python, so I’ve been using the gpiozero library (which has an MCP3008 object pre-configured).
However, the hardware SPI support doesn’t work, and the software implementation has a rather low polling rate. I’d expect to get really fast polling due to Elk’s RT kernel.

How would I go about enabling hardware SPI for use with Python?
Right now I think perhaps I’d have to build my own OS, changing the settings somewhat, but perhaps there’s some config option somewhere that makes this easier (or perhaps there’s some knowledge I lack which makes this impossible in the first place).