New Gear Without a Steep Learning Curve
I only review gear that I actually buy and use. Unfortunately with a daughter getting married and many other day-to-day life expenses guitar gear gets pushed back down the list of necessary expenses. However I did squeak in a small Christmas present for the home studio. I felt like it was time for some new tones. Nothing like some new gear to spark the creative juices.
I was told that I would get more page views if I included some pictures……
After some semi-extensive research I landed on the Digitech RP-360XP. I wanted to integrate a Wah pedal into my repertoire so this looked like a natural fit. I’ve not ever owned a Digitech product but have read and heard much about them. The following is a completely non-technical, real world user review of the box. I don’t know a circuit from and ohm so don’t expect an engineering breakdown of the innards of this thing. You will have to find that somewhere else if that’s what you crave. I will just give you my impressions as a novice home studio guitarist who dabbles in the craft.
First off the unit feels heavy, solid and well-built. I don’t “Gig” but if I did I would not feel embarrassed to throw this thing around. Drop it on your toe and you will squeal a Bruce Dickenson high note. The switches are metal and click with a very confident feel. The knobs have a feel of quality when turning for a new setting. The screen is small and not full color but that doesn’t bother me because I use the (free download) USB Nexus software editor mostly. Here are the features and specs on the unit from Digitech Website:
- Over 160 Amps, Cabinets, and Effects
- 54 Amp/Acoustic types
- 26 cabinets
- 82 effects
- 198 presets (99 factory, 99 user)
- Expression pedal
- Power supply included
- 40-second looper
- 60 High quality drum patterns
- Durable metal chassis and footswitches
- 2 x 2 USB audio streaming
- Built-in chromatic tuner
- External control input for a 3-button footswitch
- Configurable footswitch modes (Stompbox, Preset, Bank)
- Up to 5 seconds of delay time
- USB editing via DigiTech Nexus
- Stereo 1/4″ Output
- Stereo 1/8″ headphone output
- Stereo 1/8″ Aux Input
- Amp / Mixer mode optimizes 1/4″ outputs for amps and mixers
- 24-bit 44.1kHz sample rate
Ok, so you can read all that stuff and if it means something to you then you are miles ahead of me. I plugged in and dialed in a few presets to hear some tones. After all that is the meat of this dish. I had no problem twiddling and fiddling in some fresh tones. The Nexus software is graphically similar to moving dials and switches on the real life amps, cabs and pedals. A massive list of presets are included and span the range of clean to dirt. Many stomp box type effects to swap in and out to customize your tones. I have messed with the on-board drum beats somewhat. They are great for practicing to a beat with having to resort to a dry click track. I plan to get into the “Looper” feature soon. It looks like a ball of string to a kittens eyes. The tuner seems to work also. No big deal there since I can tune with a free app on my phone these days.
One glaring issue with the software is apparent. I have read other user reviews mention this but it does not really effect the way I use the box. However it would be a problem if you needed to sequence a list of presets for a set of songs for a gig. It is very hard to export, import and sort through the presets on the user side of the list. Being solely a home studio recording guitarist this does not bother me. I can make a new tone and save it in the list just fine. If I were planning a set of songs it would be a bear to program. Also I was a little disappointed that the unit did not come with USB cable. Had to shell out $15 for a new one. Those are really my only complaints with the unit so far. After much knob fondling I have dialed in a few tones that I really am starting to enjoy.
I have the thing set up as an effects pedal running L & R line outs into my Line 6 UX2 USB interface. Then the signal runs into Reaper DAW utilizing the Line 6 ASIO drivers. That’s the whole signal chain. I get a nice clean R & L signal that is easily gain staged in the Line 6 mixer panel.
The following song is my first effort with the thing. I only used some of the preset patches with very minimal tweakings. I am still working on finding my “Signature” tones from this box but overall first impressions are good.
You have now seen a few photos of the unit, looked at a list of the features, clicked a link to the manufactures website and listened to an awesome song using only the Digitech unit for guitar and bass tones. Did I mention that this thing is only $199.95 US with free shipping through Sweetwater Music Instruments & Pro Audio. I should get some money just for that plug alone. It really is a pretty good bargain considering I would have to pay a healthy +/- $80 for a decent Wah pedal and now I have three! Plus all the other benefits.
This concludes our program for today. Stay tuned for some more informative and interesting content soon to appear. If I feel like it.