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Building A Sampler/Looper around a barebone computer.

Hello Folk,
Since I find any sampler/looper limited, I plan to build my own looper/sampler/FX processor around a barebone computer:
So I need the following hardware:
1)- A BareBone PC with an OS (A free Linux or windows ?) (600 dollars/500 euros without the screen)
2)- An ADDA (audio to digital and digital to audio ) converter/soundcard => can be USB or PCI, should use ASIO "driver" or short time (300 dollars/250 euros)
3)- A pedal board => should be plugged directly via USB or Via a MIDI->USB interface (Midiman) (any suggestions ?)
About software, I need:
4) - a live processing main software which can loop and which can map the pedal actions to actual sampling/processing command
The idea will be to have the audio main application being launched at OS startup, so I would'nt even need a screen (could display the presets info on the pedal board ?)
So I know a lot about the 2 first hardware requirements, but I really don't know where to look when it comes to 3) and 4).
Have you ever tried such a "projects" ?? Do you have any suggestions ???
Thanks for Coop.,