Asif Illyas has been a full-time professional recording artist for 20 years and is currently producer and owner at his recording studio, The SHIRE, in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A recent recipient of “Best Score” at the 2011 Atlantic Film Festival, Asif also composes original score for film.
As an experienced stage and studio performer in the pop group, MIR, he toured the planet extensively and has received numerous awards and nominations for songwriting and producing. His skills as a producer have attracted artists such as Cutting Crew, Ashley MacIsaac, David Myles, and Ria Mae. His latest self-produced and self-performed effort is a solo album, entitled “Synesthesia”, which was recorded by Asif.
“When I recorded my first solo album, I ended up performing all the instruments on it — not because I’m a control-freak — but I just had to get the sounds and stylistic approaches just the way I heard them and I’m too much of a softie to push musicians too far to get things to sound the way I heard them in my head… so when it came to performing the songs live, Pigtronix’s Infinity Looper was an absolute godsend. It is SUCH a musical looper and it’s incredible depth is only surpassed by it’s ease of use — which is super-important when you want to be creative. I end up creating a rhythm track that I will play over — that is fundamental. And the Infinity is amazing at “musically” and “intuitively” knowing what you are intending to loop — i.e. it somehow “knows” that what you mean when you hit the loop-point. This is incredibly important when you are assembling the loop, live-off-the-floor, because micro-timing mistakes can occur — but Infinity takes care of it, somehow. I then continue to layer some percussive, yet melodic, elements into the loop that I know will be harmonically appropriate for the chord structure. Then I end up usually playing the bass-line on top… and if I want to play my soprano or the shakuhachi on top, I just loop an appropriate bass-line. Honestly, when I got the Infinity Looper, I felt like going back and re-recording all my acoustic versions of my songs. It has been the heart of my live set up. Thanks, Pigtronix!”