I'm sax-looper with hand percussion. I use the RC-50. There are three things I wish it had: A volume pedal, a track specific sequential undo and a programmable EQ for the signal inputs. Even without those features, I LOVE the thing and hardly use most of it's functions.
As for what you need to get everyone has said it depends on what you're trying to do. Let me further clarify that.
Do you want hardware, software or a combination? Do need something portable? Or are you keeping in your studio? If portable, how much crap do you really want to be hauling? Regarding your recording/performing: how important is outside data feeds? do
you need to be able to sync it with other tech? Are you going to need to program pedals? triggers? Are you using pre-progamming files? backing tracks? These are the tip the of the iceberg... There's a ton of stuff that I wouldn't even be able to imagine that are also relevant concerns.
If you want a hardware/software combo, Ableton has a great programmable pedal board, programmable tablet and a software to run them both that will give you more options that you could ever dream about. I'm mean thousands of permutations.
For me, I knew I wanted a piece of durable hardware that could give me multiple tracks of difference time lengths that I could start and stop with my feet. I tried several pedals and didn't like different things about them: not enough tracks, clacking buttons, etc... I settled on the RC-50 and have never looked back. (They don't make it anymore, you'd need at least the RC-300 and I haven't seen the 505 yet.) I also knew I wouldn't use the midi at all. My use is exclusively for live looping with everything created on the fly. The machine is compact enough and durable. I did 250 shows on it last year; inside, outside, in colder temps and
in temps over 100 (Fahrenheit), humid and dry climates. I didn't want a ton of gear to haul and I didn't want a software component. My main focus isn't on the tech, but using the tech as an orchestration accompaniment.
The first two tracks are pretty solid on showing what the RC-50 can do. Fairly recent recordings
This is about 4 months after first using the RC-50. Almost strict orchestration with only percussion accompaniment.
low quality video using multiple tracks for orchestration and for the tech "wow" appeal.
Since then, I've grabbed some guitar pedals to spread out my sonic space.
These are just some examples of "What do you plan to do with it?"
Once you get an idea of what you think you want to do - find a platform that has what you need and give it a whirl.
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