Dolby Laboratory funder and creator of the famous Dolby Sound passed away yesterday in San Francisco. Ray Dolby was 80 years old.
In 1949, when he still was a teenager (he would then study electronic engineering and get a PhD in Physics) that Ray Dolby started to work as a part-time and summer job at Ampex, where will be help developing the first tape recorder, and then the first prototypes of video tape recorder.
He funded Dolby Laboratories in 1965 and invented the audio system that will be patented in the USA in 1969. The now famous Dolby system allows for a much cleaner sound by electronically reducing the hissing generated by analog tapes during recording. He ran the company until 2009 and definitely left it in 2011.
The Dolby technology first interested the music industry, in particular Decca Records, before hitting the theaters. The Dolby sound was first used in movies in A Clockwork Orange in 1971, and then in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars in which Dolby Stereo was used (the sound is recorded to multiple channels).
The Dolby technology, based on noise reduction systems, is now present in every theater and many homes.
Ray Dolby was rewarded by the movie industry with one Oscar, a Grammy Award and multiple Emmy Awards. He also received the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation and was Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
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