I’ve had my Digitech RP360XP, the latest in their RP line, for about a day now, and two things are clear: the box sounds great, and the software for patch configuration and management, to put it bluntly, is plain not good enough.

The RP360XP: great sounds, s--- software
The RP360XP: great sounds, s— software

On the first point, the RP360XP sounds very much like an RP500, in a package just about one-half the size and weight of the 500. I’m also delighted to see that the RP360XP power supply will work with either US (120 volt) or Euro (240 volt) power. This is truly cool stuff for people who gig internationally (as I do a few times every year; I reckon my days of burning out RP255s with London wall power are over, and that’s a good thing).

On the second point, Digitech has inexplicably chosen to make the Nexus software that supports patch editing and management in the RP360XP LESS functional than the barely-good-enough Xedit application that it replaces. Nexus is Not Good Enough. Not nearly. Not if we’re talking about solid support for a working professional who needs to reconfigure the device quickly for specific performance situations.

Xedit had its problems. It was kind of clunky to look at, and you couldn’t even start the application unless an RP was plugged into the computer via USB. But Xedit did allow for quick reconfiguration of the order of patches in the device via drag-and-drop. If you wanted to move a patch from one place to another, all you had to do was left-click on the one you wanted to move, drag it to the desired location, and release the mouse button; Xedit would then drop the selected patch into its new slot and helpfully move everything else up or down in the stack as needed to make room for it.

Pretty good stuff, right? Guess what? No more of that, pal. Nexus won’t do drag-and-drop. If you want to move a patch without overwriting some other patch, which you very well might want to do in order to construct a sequence of patches for a song, you have to export EVERY patch that you need in the sequence, then re-import those patches, one by one, into their new locations. If your new sequence of patches starts in user location #1, that means moving 99 patches, one by one. Can you spell “bull—-?”

The absence of drag-and-drop patch movement on an application of this type in 2014 is incomprehensible to the point of ridiculousness. It is even more incomprehensible given that this feature was available on Xedit, which application Digitech has been supporting since the mid-2000s. And of course, the much-vaunted Nexus app is now revealed to be a less-functional version of Zoom’s Edit&Share software–all the pretty pictures, without the one feature that really matters most. (Did I forget to mention that Nexus forces you to move the mouse in order to change numeric values for parameters, meaning that you can’t just click and type a number in? Now that’s a feature designed to reduce productivity to the bare minimum, and it certainly succeeds on that score.)

I sincerely hope that someone at Digitech realizes quickly how much value the absence of drag-and-drop patch movement removes from Nexus and the RP360XP, and fixes it. It wouldn’t hurt if they also made it possible to type numeric parameters into Nexus instead of forcing the user to try to get an accurate value by moving a mouse. And in general, it’s about f—ing time that Digitech figured out that they’re really in the business of wrapping hardware around software, which means the software better be pretty damn good. Which–in case I haven’t said it clearly enough yet–it’s not.