Thanks to John for this comment on the Korg PX3 Pandora:
“I have the Korg PX3 “Pandora” effects box which has many of the features you mentioned. It’s easy to use but has tons of features for later. I love it!
It’ll sample 8-16 seconds of audio and loop it, so you can learn riffs. It think it’ll even play it slower, to make learning easier. It has a number (40?) of pre-built drum patterns. Some even have bass lines which you can change the key!
I do like dedicated hardware when it is right, and although I’ve never used one of these it always looked really interesting. I haven’t seen one come up on eBay for ages, so maybe they’ve all vanished off the face of the planet. At some point I’d like to get my hands on one though.
Here’s the basics:
– Complete effects unit that fits in your pocket
– Use up to 10 effects simultaneously
– Built-in drum machine
– 30 second sampler
– Center Cancel function simulates karaoke
– High-quality built-in mic with preamp
– Chromatic Tuner built-in
– Runs on 4 AAA bateries
Music Thing is three years old. I’ve always enjoyed Music thing, it is a blog worth reading. If you haven’t tried it, take a look.