Ill get this out of the way but I promise theres more to this than shameless self promotion.
I'm in a band. We do live looping. We made a demo. link
I'm very into the process of creating a live set, from the initial spark to completion, and evolution. Rather than make a post that poses the question I figured the best way would be to offer my own experience first. Somewhat of a musical history for me minus a few bands that happened prior...
Started out purely electronic. Fruityloops & Reason being the most important to me.. heavily used. Tried alot of demo software (tracktion, renoise... tons of trackers, I went through a phase, and lots of freeware on mac) but ultimately settled on Live (8) and Reason (4) Partly because I saved dough and bought them / upgraded... and partly because I found that using way too much software ended up freezing my creativity. I found Live and Reason to be more than enough to do some real damage.
I've been lucky enough to be located in an area where there is a very supportive and active music scene. I picked up an acoustic and got brave enough to sing a few songs in front of people and with the help of a friend we started playing gigs. as a 2 piece Ableton and my SP303 filled the gaps. We banged away on acoustic guitars / electric bass / occasionally ukulele (if you were brave enough to click the link above / check out the EP recordings) It was a blast but we wanted to be louder so we brought on a 3rd member to play drums, swapped the acoustics for electric, and in most cases the electric bass for an Alesis Micron. The electronic experimentation / programming has been quite heavily steeped into my process so I began trying to find a way to tastefully incorporate that element back into our sound. I use a couple DL4s for soundbeds, noise, guitar trickery.
Ive always had my eyes on the Echoplex for live looping (and would still LOVE to own one)
but for now my setup treats me just fine
hope you found this interesting & hope you check out the tunes!
if it resonates with you, I'd love to hear about your experience as well.