By Fabio Mainardi for KISSonline
On May 18, KISS was in Milan; show #12 of the Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour. I was heading to the venue with the bittersweet feeling that this would be the last time I could see them live (I was thinking the same in 1996, though..!)
KISS is immortal as their music, though, and nowadays it's so cool that KISS fans can collect high-quality recordings of each and every show thanks to the massive job carried over by KISS' technical partner Simfy Live (formerly known as Concerts Online.) I was scheduled to meet up with the recording team at the Mediolanum Forum to see how all everything is set up in order to let fans have their show in hand at the same time KISS are backstage taking off their greasepaint!
I can tell you the Simfy guys are doing a tremendous job; it's even unimaginable how many things are set up for every show and immediately afterward packed as fast as possible in order to be shipped to the next venue.
The KISS shows are taped on 46 tracks, including some crowd mics, as well as mics on the snares, toms and pedals of Eric's drum kit. The recording is made on a pair of PCs in order to be able to switch for one to another in case of technical difficulty and to ensure getting the recordings done. Cutting tracks and tagging them is done almost live, and even the special effectsŁ of the guitars moving from the left channel to the right (during Tommy's solo, etc.) are done live thanks to a video installed in the control room where the guys are able to follow KISS playing and choose the right timing to fade in and fade out the guitars lines.
All concert are ready to be sold at the 11th song (normally "100,000 Years" near the end of the show) while the remaining portion becomes downloadable early in the afternoon the next day. It's almost incredible to see and amazing to listen to, believe me!
For more info on Simfy Live products and show listings, visit simfyLive.com