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building a midi loopstation

Hi, I'm a newcomer to the list... and hoping that I'll
be able to find the right people to guide me to a good
solution for what I'm wanting to do.

I have an alesis d4 which at the moment is hooked up
to a computer which triggers audio samples from RAM
(in realtime)

At its most basic level here is what I'm after. 
I'd like something that listens to the midi that comes
from the d4, records this midi when you tell it to
(via a drum pad which acts as a record button) and
then plays the midi back (once you tell it to stop
recording via another 'stop' drum pad ). Thus a loop
has just been set up which loops from the point in
time that the record pad was hit until the stop pad
was hit, and continues to play the midi that was
recorded between these two points until another 'stop
everything' pad is hit.

The main reason for this is that I could play in a
drumbeat or pattern and then once I've dropped out of
record mode and the loop is set up, I would be free to
pick up a guitar or whatever else may be needed for a
particular piece or for an ideas jam.

Could anyone tell me the easiest way this could be

I've been experimenting with programs like Ableton
Live and fruity loops to see if I can get a similar
kind of looping happening that you would get if using
a Boss loopstation - and I'm told that Ableton live
does this very well with audio but not with midi.

Here's the problem. I could just buy something like a
loopstation but the audio samples from an alesis d4
just aren't the business anymore (at least for me)
I could get a hardware sampler like an akai and feed
that into a Boss loopstation, but that might be
getting a bit too expensive and if I could do the same
with a good spec laptop then I'd be happy with that
option if I could find the software I need, and or the
know-how to use it.

One thing I'm trying to avoid is having to play to a
click track, and many software midi programs are all
about click tracks (with good reason) I'm just looking
for a good option to use in a live situation in an
experimental way - and in my opinion as soon as you
have to play along to a click there's a little bit of
creativity lost somewhere there...

Thanks to anyone that can help, please ask for further
decription if I've sounded confusing in some areas...
I'd just really like to make this work and I just
don't have the experience needed yet... any helful
suggestions and ideas would be most welcome, and or
abuse if this is just a stupid idea.

thanks heaps

- Tim

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