In a Hollywood overrun with remakes, a new Tron has quite a daunting challenge. The original film may be a cult hit for its 80s arcade cool, but it also was a seminal moment in the evolution of computer animation, at the nexus of obsessive-compulsive optical effects that came before and digital effects that came after. (Google Perlin Noise, if you must.) But where the bits of the effects look uneven or dated alongside the brilliant, it’s nearly impossible to top the genius of Wendy Carlos’ score. Her deft blend of choirs, orchestras, organs, and rich electronics wasn’t just forward looking: it’s fresh today, an alternative to some of the signature sameness in today’s games and films.

Perhaps Tron Legacy will do what other belated sequels have not: express love for the original. With Daft Punk helming the score and a reverent, inspired crew ready to make Tron live again, the trailer last week was the real sleeper hit of Comic-Con.

If that’s not enough layers of fandom, though, head to GearSlutz for a lesson in film scoring and a recreation of the trailer in Reason, custom Reaktor patches, and Ableton Live. This is not much of an infomercial for Live: because Ableton’s arrange view doesn’t quite understand frames, scoring with Live is a bit of a beast. (Live 9, anyone?) But it’s a great example of love for the movie and its original score. And hey, everyone need a source of joy, even a film.

Ableton Live for Sound Design :Tron Legacy [GearSlutz forum]

Stripped the original audio and redid all of the sound from scratch using Reason/NI Reaktor/Ableton Live 8. An M-Audio Axiom 49 was used to perform the Lightcycle Engine Oscillations

Wendy Carlos, if you’re out there, we get it. You revolutionized film scoring and electronic orchestration, and we’re all in your debt. It’s not so much that you switched on Bach or switched on Moog or even switched on Kubrick and guys in glowing skin-tight outfits. You switched on sound, and nothing has been quite the same since.

Now, we just have to hope 2010 can show us a good time, too.

  • http://www.myspace.com/danieldaniel dBIV

    <blockquote cite="Wendy Carlos, if you’re out there, we get it. You revolutionized film scoring and electronic orchestration, and we’re all in your debt. It’s not so much that you switched on Bach or switched on Moog or even switched on Kubrick and guys in glowing skin-tight outfits. You switched on sound, and nothing has been quite the same since.">

    Well said.

  • http://www.myspace.com/danieldaniel dBIV

    "Wendy Carlos, if you’re out there, we get it. You revolutionized film scoring and electronic orchestration, and we’re all in your debt. It’s not so much that you switched on Bach or switched on Moog or even switched on Kubrick and guys in glowing skin-tight outfits. You switched on sound, and nothing has been quite the same since."

  • dyscode

    I cannot remember how often I watched that movie,

    drowining in the visuals and the soundtrack.

    I was 10 or so when the movie hit the cinemas.

    Nearly 15 years after I learned who Wendy Carlos is. Which made it even better for me.

    About Daft Punk – the only occasion their music made sense to me was when watching InterStellar 555. Yes I LOVE Tohei that much I was even willing to endure french techno and man – it blow me away.

    So the punch line ist: Daftpunk might actually be a good choice.

  • BirdFLU

    I was kind of hoping the Dazz Band would do the soundtrack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chb0RmPmOms

  • http://www.derrick-s.com Derrick S

    Love it, Daft Punk´s gonna rock the Big Screen

  • http://nwrecords.com gbsr

    what the hell, what happened to the ultra fast cycles and the ultra hard to steer 90 degree turns?

  • rogerroger

    the DaftPunk "writing" the score will boil down to them sampling a cool riff that can be both a scifiwetdreamforthe video game and dancefloor that Kanye can sample and Will.i.am can steal and then someone will ghost write the rest of the score… ;)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, I nominate Chris to redo the score if that happens. :)

    (and yeah, why no soundtrack on this scene, I wonder? Perhaps just because the original lacked one for the same?)

  • CPRoth

    Hey Peter, here's why…

    This is a waaay in advance trailer for the flick, so (and I could be wrong here) I'd imagine the score hasn't even really begun to be recorded in earnest. I've done work like this before, essentially composing a cue for the trailer for a film someone else would be actually scoring. Typically music is one of the very last things that happens in a film's production.

    The other thing to keep in mind is, if I were Daft Punk, I'd prolly raise a stink over someone else making a first impression musically over a film this big (and an audience that scrutinizes everything as the CC kidz do). Anyway, that's my 2¢ as to why the score on the trailer is a bit "Cage-like".

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I should qualify — I really like the bits of Daft Punk that I hear. And of course it's too early to judge. I'm not as pessimistic as, ahem, rogerroger. ;)

    Chris' stuff is terrific, too, however. We expect great things of you, man.

  • http://andrew.hicox.com plurgid

    I love me some daft punk, but barfing hot beats all over that trailer would ruin it.

    I like it better with out the music. It highlights the sound effects, and emphasizes the starkness of the visual.

  • http://nickstutorials.com Nick Maxwell

    Chris' redux was absolutely phenomenal, and I dare say in many ways preferable to the original. I hope to hear more of his sound design soon!

  • tobamai

    I think the Redux trailer is a more effective trailer. The music is more exciting, if less cinematic and monolithic. Cutting the voices out of the end only makes you wonder what was said (generating interest). I don't care for mixing in real motor cycle sounds to the light-cycle.

  • Soma

    Yeah kudos Chris.

    I also saw that there is a terrific interview with the original award winning sound designer where he gives a walkthrough of how he made all the sounds.

    http://tron.wikia.com/wiki/Tron_Wiki:Frank_Serafi

    Turns out he's also releasing a VST full of his samples powered by Kontakt and Sonic Realities.

    http://www.kvraudio.com/get/3644.html

  • Chris Kowalski

    Thank you Peter and to everyone posting for the extremely kind words. It was an absolute joy to do! Its really exciting/surreal to see my work on the sites I visit daily.

    I'm going to put together some additional videos/or pictures of some of the specific design elements of the Redux this weekend. I feel that for the amount of knowledge I've gained from reading sites like this its my duty to give back what I can.

    I'm also compiling a list of post features I would like to see in Ableton after doing several more designs attempts. I really feel the application is already a great platform for anyone working with sound for video, it simply needs some additional features to truly support it.

    Soma: The Frank Serafine interview is awesome! I really enjoy reading the design approaches of some of the masters in this craft. The SR library will be interesting to hear.

    Thank you again everyone for checking it out, and I'm glad people enjoyed it!

  • http://www.celebritymurderparty.co.uk Celebrity Murder Par

    Noticed this post with real interest as i'm currently working with Live on a sound design for a short CG animation for Framestore CFC. I'd echo the comments about being able to change the timeline to frames.

    Saw Chris' work and i was really blown away – he's done a great job of recreating the sound effects.

    The SR library looks amazing.

  • http://www.hardformat.org Colin

    Big thanks for the pointer to the Tron soundtrack. I'm always on the lookout for recommendations in this area.

    My personal desert island ones are Simon Fisher Turner/Carravagio, Howard Shore and Ornette Coleman/Naked Lunch, Neil Young/Dead Man, Lech Jankowski/Institute Benjamenta, John Lurie/Down By Law and Ry Cooder/Paris Texas.

    Would you consider doing a post on your favourites or is that outside the remit of CDM?