Acclaimed Game Audio Director and Composer Marty O'Donnell to Deliver the Heyser Lecture at the 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention in Los Angeles

9/12/2014 12:00:00 AM

— “The Ear Doesn't Blink: Creating Culture With Adaptive Audio” will draw on O’Donnell’s unique perspective and experience (from film and commercial jingles to his role as sound designer on the Halo franchise) to discuss the creative challenges of working in non-linear media such as games —

New York, NY — Audio professionals and gaming aficionados of all types will want to be present to hear acclaimed game audio director and composer Marty O'Donnell (Halo series, others) deliver the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention, which runs Thursday, October 9, through Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. The AES convention’s Heyser lecture, scheduled to take place on Friday, October 10, at 7 p.m., is served by an endowment that each year brings eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields to speak on an interesting topic, is often a highlight of the show; past lecturers have included Ray Dolby, Ray Kurzweil, Walter Murch, George Massenburg and Phil Ramone. O’Donnell’s lecture, titled “The Ear Doesn’t Blink: Creating Culture With Adaptive Audio” will draw on his unique perspective from years working in film and commercial music, including developing the audio for Halo, the biggest-selling game soundtrack of all time, as well as the long-awaited title, Destiny, in which he involved the likes of Sir Paul McCartney to create the soundtrack for this much-anticipated game, slated to hit shelves on September 9 of this year.

O’Donnell, who received a Bachelor of Music Composition from Wheaton College Conservatory and a Masters of Music Composition from USC, started an original music and audio production company with Michael Salvatori in the 1980s. From their studio in Chicago, O’Donnell and Salvatori wrote and produced music and audio for hundreds of TV and radio commercials, as well as movie scores. In 1997, they began working on games and did the audio design for Cyan’s Riven: The Sequel to Myst, and all the music and audio for Bungie’s Myth: The Fallen Lords. Marty joined Bungie as full-time Audio Director in May of 2000, ten days before they were purchased by Microsoft, and subsequently wrote and produced award-winning music and audio for the Halo series. In 2007 he helped establish Bungie as an independent game company and built an audio team to work on the upcoming game Destiny. Recently, in collaboration with Salvatori and Sir Paul McCartney, he completed an orchestral/choral suite titled Music of the Spheres. In April of 2014, he started his own company, Marty O’Donnell Music. Throughout all of these endeavors, he’s brought a unique perspective to audio in a wide range of media, something that he’ll share with attendees at the lecture.

O’Donnell notes, “Advances in audio production technology have sparked amazing creative responses from audio artists, musicians, and composers. Music and audio can enhance the experience of a consumer in ways that were almost unimaginable thirty years ago. It’s been an incredible personal creative journey.”

AES Executive Director Bob Moses states, “The annual Heyser Lecture is one of the highlight events of the convention, showcasing a world leader sharing his unique perspective in the field of audio.  With the importance of Game Audio in today's A/V food chain, Marty O'Donnell's talk will surely inspire people to step up their game. This is a can't-miss event!”

The Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture series was established in May 1999 by the AES Technical Council, the Board of Governors and the Richard Heyser Scholarship Fund to honor the extensive contribution to the Society by Heyser, widely known for his ability to communicate new and complex technical ideas with great clarity and patience. The Heyser Series is an endowment for lectures that bring to AES conventions eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields.

For information on the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture and how you can get your FREE Exhibits-Plus badge (pre-registration required) for the AES137 Convention, as well as further Registration, Hotel, and Technical Program information, visit the AES137 webpage at
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