I have the Boss ES5 which is the smaller version of the ES8, and it is the best looper you can get for the money. My H9 is in the amps loop only, and all my other effects are in the ES5. But I can still send MIDI commands to the H9 for any thing the H9 can do via MIDI. So I belive the answer to both questions is Yes and Yes.
Awesome , thanks