Last night I completed installing the first set of 50 Huntersounds patches on my Digitech RP360. I immediately backed up the set to my computer using Digitech’s crippled Nexus software. I’m glad I did, because if I hadn’t all that work would have been lost, maybe forever.

It took five starts and exits for my latest editing session before Nexus recognized the RP360XP that was attached to my computer via USB. Oh well; I suppose I should be grateful that it didn’t take longer. When I succeeded, on the sixth try, in getting Nexus to recognize the device, it promptly advised me that a firmware update was available, and told me to back up my presets before proceeding–which I had already done, of course.

The firmware update was a very slow process, even on my cable Internet connection. (Charter’s cable internet service is supposed to be the fastest in the USA.) About 10 minutes into the process, the RP simply froze, saying that it had lost contact with the host. (I presume the “host” in this case is Digitech’s servers.) After another half hour, I went to sleep. (It was late, and I do sleep occasionally.) When I woke up this morning, 6 hours later, the device was still frozen. I unplugged it and restarted it. When I did, the following messages immediately appeared on the RP’s screen:

RP 360 Upd V2.0.0.0

I started up Nexus and connected the RP to the computer via USB. Nexus immediately advised that I should do a firmware update. I told Nexus to start the process.

That was about 45 minutes ago. For all that time, the messages on the RP’s screen haven’t changed. Nexus is displaying a message that says “DOWNLOADING FIRMWARE.” That’s comforting, huh? But the RP still thinks it’s waiting for the host, or so it tells me. I really don’t know what this thing is thinking. At this point, I doubt that it thinks very clearly.

I’m going to continue to run the updater until something changes, or until 2 hours have passed, whichever comes first. If the RP hasn’t come back from its apparent suspended animation by then, it goes back to Sweetwater in the box it came in, and I’ll take my refund. I haven’t mentioned to this point that I discovered during the process of creating my patch set that the device apparently has some instability in its memory, because certain patches in the set I’ve created have exhibited changes in their parameters between editing sessions, without input from me. Maybe that’s what the firmware update was supposed to address. But of course the firmware update has created a whole ‘nother level of problem.

I’ll summarize my brief experience with the RP360 to date as follows: it sounds great, when it’s working, which it seems to do until you decide to change something inside it. The software that supposedly supports it is incapable of fully editing the sounds in the device, and apparently capable of rendering the device completely non-functional. Anyone who buys this thing with the intention of installing their own sounds in it should be aware that the device can’t be relied on for that purpose. Anyone who tries a firmware update, whether or not prompted to do so by the Nexus software, should be aware that a lot of trouble may result. In other words, in my experience to date this device is a broken toy. If my experience so far is representative of what any buyer can generally expect, the RP360 is completely unsuitable for professionals or moderately advanced amateurs–that is, anyone who wants to create their own sounds, and who intends to be diligent about keeping the device updated.

Or so I think at 7:45 AM Eastern time on March 7, 2014, about 8 hours after I started the firmware update recommended by Nexus. We’ll see what I think in another hour and fifteen minutes, by which time my patience will either have been rewarded, or run out completely.