Film critics never mention sound, do they? They rave about visuals, they occasionally praise the score, but not the sound. Except when the sound is so perfect that it becomes an integral part of the action, an indivisible part of the look and feel of the movie. Which is definitely the case with Tron: Legacy.
"â€¦ genuinely mind blowing visual effects, music and sound that immerse the audience in the Grid and whisk you away on a digitally delightful journey," says Giles Hardie of the Sydney Morning Herald. "An eye-candyriffic holiday treat, with a killer soundtrack and 3-D visuals worthy of the huge screen," says Luke Y. Thompson (E! Online); "A landmark achievement in visual effects, sound and production design," says Thomas Leupp (Hollywood.com).
And there's more: "â€¦ characters and visuals and sound come together, sync up and create an unbelievable, almost magical cinematic rhythm unlike anything you've ever experienced before," says Joshua Tyler (CinemaBlend.com). The production team obviously got it dead right â€“ as well they might, comprising some of the best-known names in sound mixing and recording, working with the most advanced technology available.
The thing that makes their achievement so noteworthy is that the visuals themselves are so breathtaking â€“ "heretofore unthinkable cinematic feats and seemingly unachievable advancements in technology..." as Simon Miraudo of Quickfix put it â€“ but the sound has no trouble matching them.
A lot of credit must go to to the director, Joseph Kosinski, for persuading Daft Punk to write the original music â€“ and to Daft Punk themselves, not only for producing a score which has been universally applauded, but for insisting that they wanted to record it at AIR Lyndhurst, with Geoff Foster operating the Neve 88R with SP2 scoring panel.
Equally, Disney made an inspired choice in selecting multiple Oscar-winner Christopher Boyes, Steve Boeddeker and Addison Teague as sound designers and Skywalker Sound as the dubbing facility. Boyes, who won plenty of awards for his work on Avatar, is a master at using sound to enhance the 3-D experience â€“ and by common consent Tron: Legacy makes better use of 3-D than any other film released this year. Helping Boyes produce the final mix for the soundtrack on the AMS Neve DFC were Golden Reel-winner Juan Peralta and Satellite Award-winner Gary Rizzo.
The result: "A triumph of art direction, sound design and Gallic phat beats," says Nick De Semlyen of Empire Magazine. When even the critics take note, you know the sound is something special â€“ but there again so is the team that produced it, and, of course, the AMS Neve consoles they were sitting at.