I used to think anyone using loops was a non-musician - but then I got hip to some of the stuff out there -- yes, lots of it is cookie cutter stuff, but then some is very creative, and some libraries throw all kinds of variations at you -- then it's about the skill of the artist to make it sound like music.
I use Soundtrack Pro (mac) as well as REX2 files in Pro Tools and have done some pretty wild stuff manipulating and editing loop libraries. Combine that with some "real" music and the results can be spectacular.
The key to working with loops: you MUST have an idea what you want, then you have to find something that's close, then you have to know how to manipulate it. That rules out 99% of the users out there... they'll always sound like they're cookie-cutting it together in acid. The idea is to use the technology and make something new.
I'm 100% in agreement. It's just that I'd have these rhythms in my head, and wasn't able to get there from the loops and tools/skills that I had. And that led me to samples...
I bought one of the ACID drum construction kits way back when, but working with that was very tedious. Now I can load up a kit of samples and play it in real time. Yay!
But I've also done some chopping, reversing, and re-pitching of loops and one shots that have worked out very well. I achieved the sound I wanted fairly quickly. The resulting sound is unique, and hopefully appealing.
Anyway, I like the quickness of loops, and I appreciate that they can be manipulated to sound unique, but I also know that they offer limited freedom and range. Using samples and loops together gives the best of both worlds. I'm looking forward to ACID 6 Pro.
And therein lies the rub for me: just upgraded from Sonar 3.1.1 Producer to S5P and also was looking at upgrading from Acid 5 to version 6 before I got the Sonar upgrade. Both DAW programs, but which one to use? And with Sony dropping some of it's product lines (they shut down the AIBO robot dog line for one) to focus on it's core business (whatever the heck that means), what kind of future support can one expect from Sony?
The division that was the former Sonic Foundry is doing very well, and as far as I know, they're not in any way on the chopping block.