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Laptops, Drum Loops, etc.

Hello everyone!


Just a few questions...I know there was a recent laptop thread where someone mentioned they were using Soundplant to run short "one offs" and loops, also Mobius and Ambiloop, etc. I use Soundplant already, but have been reading up on the looping programs.


I'm just wondering what some of us are using for really good, customizable drum loops, and I'm referring to artist such as Erik Wollo, Patrick O'Hearn and even our own Simeon Harris. All of their latest CDs are phenomenal and incorporate some kind of drum tracking.


You guys/gals (there are others on the list I can't think of now) always have such rich, deep sounding drum tracks with world beat influence, or tweaked, with ambient sounds, etc. What programs are good for this, and how simple to use are they, and how do you trigger them on/off, or add drum parts from files if you've got hands on a guitar, ebow, etc.?


Also, if you're running such software, or soft synths...how do you record with your laptop while everything else is running? I'd be using a Tascam US122L interface.


As you can tell, I'm trying to incorporate a laptop to my floorboard that will do some interesting things for my music, without going overboard. One small step at a time...


Thanks for your suggestions...


Ed in NJ