Digitech’s RP360 and RP360XP have been on the market for about six months now. The box still sounds great, and the software still sucks.

Digitech’s doing a very nice job on the hardware side with its products. There’s no doubt in my mind that the RP devices deliver better sounds and more value for money than any competing devices in their price range, or even than the higher-priced gear offered by Line6 among others.

However, Digitech continues to underinvest in their software, which is a critical–repeat, critical–part of the package for professional users. Which, of course, raises the question: is Digitech’s strategy about building overengineered products for amateurs, or pro-quality gear for pros?

The RP360XP: when will Digitech get its software act together?
The RP360XP: when will Digitech get its software act together?

We’ll leave that question for someone else to answer. In the meantime, here are the software improvements Digitech needs to make RIGHT NOW:

1) Change Nexus to allow drag-and-drop configuration of patch locations for the RP360/360XP. This functionality is present in Xedit for every RP device from the RP150 on–but not for the 360 or 360XP. Professionals absolutely–absolutely– require the ability to reconfigure user memory quickly and easily in order to build song- and gig-specific setups.

2) Offer tools to enable conversion of patches configured for the RP355 and lower models to RP500/1000/360/360XP formats. Once upon a time, Digitech offered a tool to convert patches between RP150/250/350 formats. Then they stopped; didn’t even update the program to cover the 155/255/355. What the f—? Listen up, Digi-guys. This is important for your sales. Once I’ve put in hundreds of hours to build customized sounds for my RP, if I don’t have an easy way to convert those patches to a newer model, I have a positive disincentive to buy that newer model, because if I do, I have to start all over. You want people to buy the new stuff? Make it easier for them to bring the old stuff they like along.

I’ve said before that Digitech doesn’t seem to realize that they’re really in the software business now. Here’s what software companies know: you don’t strand users of your legacy products when you create the next version, because that creates an incentive for said users to abandon your company and its products entirely in favor of some other vendor offering new, shiny objects. You make it easy for your legacy users to bring their data along with them to your next product version, because doing so makes it far more likely that they will in fact take that step.

When will Digitech figure that out? I dunno. It should’ve happened already. I can’t explain why this perfectly obvious stuff–stuff which is really not very difficult–seems to be so hard for them. Maybe they need to hire a couple of guys in a garage to make it happen. My guess is that there are lots of garages out there in Salt Lake City; surely they can find one with a couple of nerds inside, looking for a project? I recommend that they start driving around and checking that out right now.