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Fighting the temptation to noodle

In endeavoring to strip my rig down, I've been playing with just the 
looper in the Line 6 M13. This is fun, but I find myself recording a loop 
and then just leaving it be while I play over the top. From a live looping 
standpoint, this feels like cheating. Everything turns into one long 
ambient guitar solo over a static loop which isn't really what I was 
after. Yes, I could go play with half speed and reverse and sometimes I 
do, but I still end up back at the soloing over a static loop point fairly 
quickly. Any advice? Does feedback work well enough on the M13 to make it 
viable for loop evolution? (I'm finding my existing expression pedals 
don't seem to give all that precise control with Line 6 equipment.) Or is 
it time to wire the EDP back into the set up?