Digitech RP360XP

Thursday, January 23, 2014| by Will Chen

Digitech's RP360XP is the second in the latest line of effect units featuring Digitech's AudioDNA II processor.  From a product family perspective, it is the replacement of their RP355 unit and aimed at maximizing features into a compact and affordable floorboard. So is the RP360XP a next generation processor or simply a repackaging of existing technology? A little bit of both, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as you'll see in the below review.

Cosmetically, RP360XP is a rather large departure from what Digitech has historically offered. Gone is the rather cluttered parameter matrix which has most recently adorned the face of Digitech units as well as the larger plastic foot switches of the more affordable lines. The RP360XP is sleek and minimalistic when compared to the company's recent designs. From a hardware feature perspective, the unit excludes the left and right XLR outputs of the RP355 in favor of a control jack to extend usability with Digitech's FS3X pedal. A rather convenient update though is a revision allowing the RP360XP to be powered by a standard DC adapter rather than clunky AC adapters of the prior RP units. 

Before getting to the sounds of the unit, I'd like to a second to speak to functional operation. The RP360XP's foot switches can be set to operate in three different modes: Patch, Stomp, and Bank. In patch mode the left switch increments patches, the middle down, and the right switch is dedicated to the looper, in bank mode each switch loads a preset, and in stomp mode each switch can be assigned to any effect in the virtual signal chain. Digitech really raised the bar concerning live usability of compact units though with the integration of their optional FS3X footswitch. With it connected, the functionality rivals much more expensive and bigger units. For example, when in stomp mode the FS3X left switch engages the looper while the other two switches are left free to navigate patches or it can be set to control looper arm/overdub, stop, and clear. Speaking of the looper, Digitech's inclusion of a 40 second looper in the RP360XP is welcomed. Again, focusing on usability they've offered a mode in which you don't have to hit two switches or hold a switch down for a couple seconds to trigger. I've not played another compact floor unit which offers the ease of recording and overdubbing loops while switching patches. A selection of drum patterns are also included to practice with but unfortunately the drum patterns and looper can't be used together.

From a tonal perspective, the RP360XP builds on the platform the RP355 offered before it but expanding the selection to the same options Digitech's higher end units like the RP1000 offer; 54 amps and 87 effects. Amp modeling options run the gamut from vintage Fender and Marshall offerings up to modern fire breathers such as as the Peavey 5150 and Carvin Legacy. On the effects front, faithful emulations (including their real world controls) of numerous vintage pedals are offered including multiple flavors of Tube Screamers and modulation models of Electro Harmonix, TC Electronics, and Boss stomp boxes. Of course, a long standing benefit of buying one of Digitech's RP units is the inclusion of their Whammy effect. The Whammy in the RP360XP doesn't offer the polyphonic chords mode of the most recent Whammy, but does deliver the classic Whammy sound in spades. While Digitech does offer positional flexibility for any item in the virtual signal chain, the unit is limited to one effect from each category. For example, you can have only one dirtbox at a time, one modulation at a time, etc. In general, this isn't too much of a handicap as the unit offers up to 10 effects at once. However, Digitech bundles the pitch effects with modulation effects which does slightly limit those who lean to the more experimental side of things. 

While the onboard interface was so intuitive that I figured it out without using a manual, it's worth noting the migration of Digitech's Nexus graphical user interface from their iPad based iPB-10 to desktop platforms. Nexus is a pretty large step forward from their previous X-Edit interface offering an extremely visually rich display of your virtual pedal board and amp. It's extremely intuitive to use, though on my (admittedly rather old) system, response to control changes in Nexus was a bit sluggish.

It's true there is little tonal difference between the RP360XP and the most recent RP units where their features overlap. But those yearning for the amp modeling and effects options of Digitech's higher end units in a compact and more affordable pedal will find a ton to like here. And the usability enhancements can't be praised enough for those who prefer compact all in one effect units.

Pros: Wide variety of good tones and excellent usability.
Cons: Pitch and Modulation effects can't be run simultaneously.
Price: $199.95 USD

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Filed Under: Reviews, Digitech