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Robert Lewis' Quest for Looping

Robert Lewis wrote:
> I'm looking for a recommendation for a looping pedal that I'll use for 
> live solo shows.
> I need something high-end that lets me not just simply build on top of 
> short loops, but also allows me to drop tracks in and out, and to 
> switch between an A part and B part (verse to chorus, for example). 
> Basically, I want a pedal that will allow me to play entire songs (in 
> the vein of Radiohead/Sigur Ros/Boards of Canada) alone and with a 
> minimum of pre-recording.
> I'm currently looking at a few things: a Boss RC-50, Echoplex Digital 
> Pro, Abelton software (I'd bring a laptop onstage and trigger it with 
> footpedals), or a combo of pedals that can be synched together. 
> Currently I own a Line DL-4, which got me hooked on looping but which 
> has become very limited very quickly.
> Any recommendations what would work best for my needs? I can't get 
> these items here in Korea, so I need to be sure about what I'm getting 
> before I have it shipped over.
Hi Robert,

For live looping, I'm afraid that I'm low tech/old school style with an 
Akai Headrush (the oldest model).  I know that's not what you want but I 
just put that out there as a point of reference.

I also have Ableton Live.  For now, I'm learning how to make my own MIDI 
clips (loops).  I suppose I should also learn how to make my own audio 
clips, too, although it seems straight forward enough.  This is good for 
using prepared material for triggering.  Live is great at mapping MIDI 
messages to button presses in Live so triggering clips from a keyboard 
is child's play.

Some day, I'd like to be able to do looping with Live in real time, both 
audio and MIDI.  Unfortunately, I have been rather slow at wrapping my 
head around Live's features.  I have an RFC-1 (MIDI Mitigator) as a 
footpedal which I'd have to relearn since I haven't used in years.  My 
understanding is that it can send any kind of message required.  My big 
problem is that I've watched the Kid Beyond video and he mentioned MIDI 
Translator, a program for Windows that translates MIDI events into 
sequences of qwerty keyboard strokes.  I haven't been able to find it 
and am hoping it isn't required for live looping.  While my laptop is 
running Windows XP, I can see that I will some day get a Macbook Pro and 
don't want whatever I develop to fall apart by a change in OS.