Obituary: Ray Dolby, sound engineer, 80

Posted on: September 17, 2013

In Saturday’s (9/14) Independent (London), Marcus Williamson writes that Ray Dolby died on September 13 at his home in San Francisco. “He was the creator of the Dolby Noise Reduction system, a method for reducing background hiss on tape recordings, which was installed on virtually every hi-fi cassette player from the 1970s to the 1990s. In the 1970s his company invented the Dolby Stereo sound system for cinema. Then, in the digital era, the name has remained prominent with technology such as Dolby Home Theater and Dolby Digital. Ray Dolby was born in Portland, Oregon in 1933 and grew up in the San Francisco area.… During the summer of [1965] he created the invention which would make his name and early fortune.… Decca Records in London … released their debut recording which had been mastered on to tape using the new system, a session of Vladimir Ashkenazy playing Mozart piano concertos, in 1966.… Decca engineers helped test and refine the prototype of the now-legendary ‘Dolby A’ professional noise reduction in the mid-1960s. This can truly be said to have revolutionised the recording industry across all types of music and film and transform perceptions of high fidelity throughout the world.”

Posted September 17, 2013