The Track Team Excited to work on Season 2 of Korra, PLUS Learn more about the process behind the music and sound of Korra and ATLA

Track Team Studio

Track Team Studio

The Track Team in Jeremy’s Studio
The Track Team (Benjamin Wynn and Jeremy Zuckerman) Are the Dynamic Duo behind the Legendary Music + Sound Design for The Legend of Korra and Avatar The Last Airbender

Just got back from a visit to The Track Team Studio with Jeremy Zuckerman and Ben Wynn (the brilliant composer and sound designer behind the ATLA and Korra soundtrack).  Here are some of the things we learned about the process for making the soundtrack and sound effects of Avatar and Korra a reality.

Special shout-out to Donna (a long time community member) who put the event together!  We were also joined by Kate, who was with Donna at this year’s Comic Con.

One of the most mentioned components of the Avatar series is the surprisingly incredible plus unique Music and Audio, this is some insight into how it all happens:

Short Work Timeframe
Jeremy and Ben work in two separate home studios collaborating the entire way, most of the time they only have a week or two after seeing the final animation before they produce the incredible music and sound effects you hear in each episode.  Ben works primarily on Sound Design while Jeremy focuses on the music and composition.

It was super funny to see some Korra Book 1 scenes that didn’t quite have all the voice actors in place yet, so Mike DiMartino (Co-Creator) was voicing Mako or Asami at some points.

The Track Team Studio Meetup

Inside The Track Team Studio:
It was awesome to see The Track Team in action
(Pictured from left: Admin / Jordash (Jordan), Jeremy Zuckerman, Benjamin Wynn, Donna, Kate [Bottom] )

Extra Painstaking Effort Goes Into making each episode sound awesome
Jeremy showed us his track listing for a Korra episode and it was a crazy array of over 300 tracks (how they’re able to organize and understand it all is beyond me).  For any music / composer type people out there, they primarily work with Logic Software.  Jeremy and Ben mentioned that many commercials and movies he’s worked on in the past usually has under 10 stems, which goes to show, a lot of extra painstaking effort goes into making ATLA and Korra masterpieces.

Jeremy also creates most of the music in a Midi (computerized format) and then later personally conducts talented violinists, violists and cellists, etc… who play The Track Team’s music inside of Jeremy’s Studio.  Due to the size of the studio (only 3-4 players can fit) Jeremy often has to conduct multiple takes which are then layered on top of each other to make it sound like a full on orchestra.

Ben and Jeremy created an entire self-recorded library of Taiko Drums for the trademark Avatar Drums used during many of the action scenes.

Another interesting fact that Ben told us is that from his intensive work on the Avatar project he had to see a doctor and have surgery on his wrists (scarring him for life) due to the amount of time and intensity he put into working on the sound design for the project.

Both are Excited to work on Book 2 “Spirits” Music with a wider array of Abstract Music & Sound Design
They are excited to work on music and sound design for the Avatar Spirit World as it allows for a lot more exploration of abstract ethereal music and sound design (like we heard a bit of in ATLA).  And they get to use instruments and sound effects they rarely ever get to use.

Avatar Spirit World

The Track Team is Excited to Work on the Abstract Ethereal Music and Sounds typical of the Spirit World

The Track Team doesn’t have many solid ideas yet for the music or sound of The Legend of Korra Book 2 because until they are able to see the final animation they won’t know exactly what is required to finish the Episode (The Track Team being among the last people the episode goes through before it airs).

Many of the Sound Effects “disappear” into the background but make the entire episode so much more engaging, we watched part of an episode without some of the sound effects The Track Team adds, it’s surprising how you don’t realize how much it adds to each episode.

No, they don’t know the Korra Book 2 Release date, but the team is optimistic that the entire Korra team is making excellent progress.

Nick looking at stats for ATLA Soundtrack
Chandler (The teams PR man), told us that Nickelodeon is looking over the stats for the possible release of the Avatar The Last Airbender Soundtrack that fans have been clamoring for since the show began.

Hopefully the extreme amount of signatures on the online petition will help allow the Soundtrack to be officially released. Click Here to sign the Petition for an Avatar The Last Airbender Soundtrack.

Other Trivia

  • The Track Team was Involved with the Avatar world from the initial unaired Test Pilot Episode.
  • Each episode becomes increasingly challenging for the team to make as each episode becomes more and more intense than the last.
  • Benjamin Wynn has also created music under the alias of Deru, you can buy some of his music here

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Comments - 41 Posts

  1. Avatar of Avatar Amanda
    Avatar Amanda Said: Comment by Avatar Amanda on July 26, 2012 at 2:59 am | Permalink
     

    They did a great job on book 1 and I can’t wait for book 2 and the others!

    Reply

    Avatar of Korra

    Korra Reply:

    Same!

    Reply

    Avatar of Luca

    Luca Reply:

    Agree with you there!!!!!

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    Omg I really want to see it now

    Reply

    Avatar of Pabuxlove64

    Pabuxlove64 Reply:

    Yeah!

    Reply

  2. Avatar of Ricardo
    Ricardo Said: Comment by Ricardo on July 26, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink
     

    I once thought that The Track Team were an incredible duo and that they put lots of time and effort into each of their masterpieces.
    After reading this… I realised, oh how wrong I was.
    I now know that they are beyond incredible and they go so far in their music that they even needed surgery.

    I think it’s amazing that they can produce music that fits the scene so well, in such a short time, as they’re only given the episode at a later date.

    It’s nice to see that there’s still lots of consideration for an official Avatar soundtrack release. Nick has already released Avatar (well, more like Korra) merchandise so I believe that a soundtrack can be expected very soon. :)

    One last note: nice shirt Donna! I love how it’s in a chibi style.

    Reply

  3. Avatar of Ricardo
    Ricardo Said: Comment by Ricardo on July 26, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink
     

    I just realised that that picture of the spirit world is the location where Koh resides.

    Now I think there’s almost definitely going to be a mention Koh in book 2 :P

    Reply

    Avatar of KoolKorra

    KoolKorra Reply:

    And then Aang will come and remind and warn her like Roku!!! Can’t Wait!!!!!!

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    I found out that Koh is one of the enemies and the spirit of Amon might come and haunt her plus other spirit animals

    Reply

    Avatar of FireSageGuntur

    FireSageGuntur Reply:

    You’re referring to the one with the giant wolf in the background?
    It’s familiar to you because it’s a screenshot from ATLA, not from LOK. it’s in the book 1 finale of ATLA when Aang first arrives at Koh’s residence. If you look closely, you can even see Aang on the third rock from the left.

    So that doesn’t mean Koh will be in LOK Book 2, although I do hope so ;)

    Reply

    Avatar of Ricardo

    Ricardo Reply:

    Don’t ruin my fun. ;)

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    I hope so return of a former enemy

    Avatar of Admin / Jordash

    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah it’s a screenshot from ATLA not Korra, although I’m still guessing Koh might have some kind of presence.

    Reply

  4. Avatar of Greg2Bender
    Greg2Bender Said: Comment by Greg2Bender on July 26, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink
     

    Awesome post. It’s really cool you got to meet with them. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

  5. Avatar of Peace
    Peace Said: Comment by Peace on July 26, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink
     

    The music make me be in the avatar world ! :)

    Reply

  6. Avatar of Haikai
    Haikai Said: Comment by Haikai on July 26, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink
     

    I signed the petition :)

    Reply

    Avatar of KoolKorra

    KoolKorra Reply:

    I did too

    Reply

  7. Avatar of Avatar Yangchen
    Avatar Yangchen Said: Comment by Avatar Yangchen on July 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
     

    1 word…WOW

    Reply

  8. Avatar of Sapphire Moon
    Sapphire Moon Said: Comment by Sapphire Moon on July 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
     

    Wow that’s amazing!

    Reply

  9. Avatar of Rabadoo
    Rabadoo Said: Comment by Rabadoo on July 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
     

    These guys are so awesome. Jeremy Zuckerman is my all-time favorite composer and Ben’s sound engineering is flawless. I’m so jealous you got to actually meet them.

    Reply

  10. Avatar of Donna
    Donna Said: Comment by Donna on July 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
     

    Awesome write-up Jordan!

    It was one of the many highlights of going to the USA for San Diego Comic-Con 2012. I had actually won the studio tour in an Auction that they had donated it to, months back and to finally get to tie the tour of the studio right after SDCCI was incredible indeed.

    To be able to take Jordan with us – priceless – So huge thank you too to Jordan for taking time out to come and join us and write a brilliant article on it :)

    LOL Rickardo – Yeah it was this years SDCCI shirt there is also a Chibbi Aang t-shirt that I snagged too :)

    This is the 2nd time I’ve met up with the Track Team and always find them to be very humble, open and passionate about their work. When Ben shared about the surgery to his wrist – I really found that incredible that he continues to do what he loves doing.

    Jeremy’s passion is the guitar however, he hasn’t found the right sound or moments to use his beloved guitars in Korra yet, but again one never knows :)…. They also have this wicked old church puff organ that may be used in up coming episodes again till they see the final animations he won’t know what instruments/tunes he’ll create… The finale music was done 3 days before it aired!!!

    I also mentioned to Chandler to use the i-tunes stats that the guys had forgotten about when Nick released the Korra music for KorraNation folk online… and there are a few other idea’s of stats to get them from like their myspace site: http://www.myspace.com/thetrackteammusicandsound which actually lists how many times individual tracks play…

    I agree with Jordan, seeing the animation without sound and then seeing it with the layers of sound really brought the show to life and to a new dimension…. and it was a great surprise hearing the voice actors voice then suddenly Mike’s when they decided to do a script change and hadn’t done the final voice take for it…

    They have also done work for DC Showcase – principally Superman/Shazam – The return of Black Adam… which is available via i-tunes and also they continue to work on the Music for Kung Fu Panda – legends of Awesomeness!!! So keep an eye out for these and support them with purchasing the official music if you can :)

    They also confirmed that they may be appearing at New York Comic-Con this year, however that’s not official yet – as soon as I know I’ll let you guys know :) And we are trying to see if we can get them Down under to at least Aussie for an appearance at one of our local Cons, though a trip to New Zealand would be even better ;)

    Thanks to all of you who have signed the petition – for those of you that haven’t please do… every vote counts and it would be awesome to finally see the fruits of their labour officially out and selling indeed!

    Reply

    Avatar of Ricardo

    Ricardo Reply:

    Wow, you must have been extremely lucky to have won the studio tour. :D

    3 days to do the finale music?! They must have worked their butt off to produce something that amazing by the end. O.o

    Reply

    Avatar of Admin / Jordash

    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah thanks for everything Donna, truly an awesome meetup :)

    Reply

    Avatar of Donna

    Donna Reply:

    It was awesome to meet up with you to Jordan. And a great time just chilling out while we waited to be picked up, at the park & at the train station lol… :)

    Am now trying to work on something for next year…. keep you posted ;)

    Reply

  11. Avatar of
    momo2009 Said: Comment by momo2009 on July 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
     

    Love the music. One of the main reason why i love avatar.

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    I love the opening season music and the enemy music

    Reply

  12. Avatar of Lauren
    Lauren Said: Comment by Lauren on July 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
     

    Ever since ATLA, the music was one of the best things that kept me watching the show, besides it being amazing and all that jazz. haha. (The jazz in Korra was amazing and really fit the time frame, while I’m on the subject.) The music always fit the scene, and I love how they took the themes from Avatar and morphed it into some of the Korra themes. I can’t wait to see what they do with the Book 2 music!

    Reply

    Avatar of Haikai

    Haikai Reply:

    The jazz music to me was very annoying lol, but it did fit the time and eventually i did come to like it.

    Reply

    Avatar of Lauren

    Lauren Reply:

    I agree, I wasn’t fond of it at first, but I grew to really like it.

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    I did not understand the jazz

    Reply

  13. Avatar of Avatar Hazro
    Avatar Hazro Said: Comment by Avatar Hazro on July 29, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink
     

    The music of Avatar is just too awesome for words! Those two guys are geniuses!

    Reply

    Avatar of Jadely

    Jadely Reply:

    Yes it Is! I uses there music for everything .
    An alarm to wake up to,ringtones,when I do my homework,and before I go to bed .

    Reply

    Avatar of Donna

    Donna Reply:

    I so know what you mean Jadely – I have 4 that I use for my alarm in this order… main theme, lost my heart in Republic City, Bolin wants to know and hittin’ on all sixes… a great way to wake each morning :)

    Reply

  14. Avatar of Avatar courtorahsaur
    Avatar courtorahsaur Said: Comment by Avatar courtorahsaur on July 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
     

    The music and 40′s style twist was an amazing addition to the plot. Made you feel like the show really was taking place 70 years later.
    Good thinking guys. Keep it up.

    Reply

  15. Avatar of AvatarKorraFan
    AvatarKorraFan Said: Comment by AvatarKorraFan on August 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
     

    I listen to the soundtrack all the time! My favorites are “Harldboiled..Afraid” The Theme and “Lost my heart in Republic City” :]

    Reply

    Avatar of Jessie

    Jessie Reply:

    I love those song too

    Reply

  16. Avatar of AVATAR FAN 101
    AVATAR FAN 101 Said: Comment by AVATAR FAN 101 on August 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
     

    cant wait

    Reply

  17. Avatar of
    George Sinkler 3rd Said: Comment by George Sinkler 3rd on August 3, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink
     

    They did a good job and I’m looking forward to hearing what they have in store for Book 2

    Reply

  18. Avatar of Korrafan123
    Korrafan123 Said: Comment by Korrafan123 on August 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
     

    book 2 book 2 book 2 i……Cant……Not……..Wait!!!!!!! I love LOK!!!!!!hheheeee hahahaha cant wait XD

    Reply

  19. Avatar of Rrockz
    Rrockz Said: Comment by Rrockz on August 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
     

    I love the music it adds alittle something to the mood of the series both LOK and ATLAB

    Reply

  20. Avatar of Emelitha
    Emelitha Said: Comment by Emelitha on October 10, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink
     

    I so very much like the first book, cant wait for the second book and the plot. More exciting battles.. Hope that we could have an event organize for ALL the fanatics all over the world.

    Reply

 

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