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Gear plug: Tascam 564

Not directly related to looping, but probably of interest to many people 
on this list:

Purchased a Tascam 564 Minidisc recorder last week (like a cassette 
Portastudio, but recording on Minidisc, with some digital editing 
capabilities).  I'm quite pleased with it so far, but its wonders are too 
many to go into here.  Tascam has a faxback service which will send you a 
fairly complete overview (five or six pages) of what the 564 can do.

The sound quality is quite good, and I believe EQ summarized as "better 
than cassette, not as good as ADAT".
Primo neat features include:
 the ability to "bounce forward" to a later section of the MD, which 
allows you to do sub-mixes while retaining all the original tracks.  The 
sub-mixes do not occur in the digital realm, but are routed through the 
analog mixer, so you can eq, add effects, etc.  You can do this up to four 
times (only five "song" files per disc, 37 minutes of audio).
 digital out for stereo final mix
 auto punch in and out
 ability to place up to 20 named index points in each song file ("Intro", 
"Bridge", etc)
 MIDI sync to keep all your sequenced tracks off the disc until the final 
 ability to sequence audio sections within a song, so if you want to try 
the verse before the chorus, you can hear it without having to re-record.
 and more stuff I haven't got into yet.

If anyone has any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer to the best 
of my abilities.

Travis Hartnett