Our pedals with USB receptacles support mono and stereo input and output using TS (mono) or TRS (stereo) 1/4" phone plugs.  Use the web editor (requires Chrome) to configure your pedal for stereo input and output.

TRS cables are used for stereo connections, with the left channel on the tip and right channel on the ring.

Cable types

Insert (or "Y") cables are used for mixer channel inserts.  They split a single TRS connection into separate TS plugs, with the TRS tip and ring each on the tip of a TS plug.  The TS plugs are usually labeled "tip" (left channel) and "ring" (right channel), but sometimes they are labeled "send" (left channel) and "return" (right channel), and sometimes send/return are swapped.  When in doubt, you can use a continuity tester or pan the signal hard left and see which TS plug it ends up on.  You can usually leave one of the TS plugs unplugged if it is the output from a TRS device, but do not leave a TS plug unplugged if it is the input to a TRS device, because the disconnected plug can pick up noise.

Pedal to pedal connections

Stereo pedals either use separate left and right 1/4" TS jacks, or a stereo TRS jacks (like ours).

For connecting a TRS stereo output to a TRS stereo input, use a TRS to TRS cable.

For connecting left and right TS outputs to a TRS stereo input, use a TRS to dual TS insert cable.

For connecting a TRS stereo output to left and right TS inputs, use a TRS to dual TS insert cable.

Instrument output to pedal Input

Instruments with pickups generally have 1/4" TS outputs.  Use a TS to TS instrument cable to connect to the pedal.

Synthesizer output to pedal input

Synthesizers and drum machines typically have separate unbalanced left and right outputs.  Use a dual TS to TRS insert cable for stereo, and a TS to TS cable connected to the left output for mono.

Pedal output to amp input

Use a TS to TS instrument or patch cable to connect the pedal output to the amp input.

To route stereo output to two amplifiers, use a TRS to dual TS (insert) cable.  To prevent ground loops, you may need to connect one of the channels to a transformer DI box.

Pedal output to mixer input

Use a TS to TS cable to connect to mono inputs (including balanced mono).

Use a TRS to dual TS (insert) cable to connect to a stereo input channel or stereo auxiliary return.

Mixer channel insert

Mixer channel inserts are usually after the preamplifier and highpass filter and before the EQ, aux sends, and faders.  They allow you to insert an effect into the signal chain after the signal is brought up to line level.  Unbalanced channel inserts use a single TRS jack that is normalled so that inserting a plug breaks the signal flow.

Use a TRS to dual TS insert cable with the TRS plug in the mixer channel insert.  Connect the send TS plug (usually "tip") to the pedal input and the return TS plug (usually "ring") to the pedal output.

Mixer aux send

Most mixers have mono auxilliary sends and either stereo or mono returns.  You can also use a mixer channel (or two channels panned hard left/right) for the return.

Use a TS to TS cable from the auxiliary send to the pedal input.  For the pedal output, use a TS to TS cable for mono and a TRS to dual TS insert cable for stereo.  Configure the pedal for mono input and mono or stereo output.

Audio interface connections

Connect one or two line outputs to the pedal's input.  Use RCA or 1/4" TS plugs on the interface side.  For mono, use an instrument or patch cable with an RCA or TS plug on the interface side and a TS plug on the.

Connect the pedal's output to one or two line level inputs.  You can also use instrument inputs, which provide more gain.  Use a TS to TS cable for mono and a TRS to dual TS insert cable for stereo.

Phone and tablet connections

Headphone outputs can be plugged into the pedal using a 3.5mm TRS to 1/4" TRS cable for stereo input.

You will need an external audio interface to connect the pedal output to your phone or tablet.

Balanced inputs and outputs

Our pedals do not use balanced input or output, but the same TRS connectors can be used for balanced connections and it sometimes causes confusion.  A balanced signal transmits a single channel using three wires: positive (tip), negative (ring), and ground (shield).  The positive and negative wires carry a single audio channel, but 180 degrees out of phase.  The receiving device uses a differential input, and the result is improved noise immunity, especially with long cable runs.

When you connect a stereo TRS output to a balanced TRS input, the differential input will subtract the right signal from the left.  A signal near the center of the stereo field will end up being very quiet.

Most balanced equipment supports unbalanced connections using a TS plug, but you should check the documentation to confirm that it will work.

Balanced XLR to pedals

Balanced XLR connectors have ground on pin 1, positive (hot) signal on pin 2, and negative (cold) signal on pin 3 (search online for pinout diagrams).  In most cases, you can use an XLR  to 1/4 inch TS male unbalanced cable to directly connect a balanced XLR output to an unbalanced TS (mono) input.  An example is the Hosa PXF-100 (PXF-103, PXF-105, etc.).  Use a cable designed to convert balanced XLR outputs to unbalanced TS inputs.  Do not use an XLR to TRS (balanced) cable.  Our pedals have high input impedances, but check the maximum output level to ensure it is not greater than the pedal's maximum input.

For connecting left and right balanced XLR to unbalanced stereo TRS, you will need two of the XLR to 1/4" TS cables and a Y adapter to combine the two TS (mono) plugs into a single TRS (stereo) plug.  The Hosa YPP-117 is one example: connect the left TS plug to the tip (black) jack and the right TS plug to the ring (red) jack.


See the "TRS cables for stereo input and output" article for a list of TRS cables.