A Tribute to Audio Pioneer Ray Dolby
Founder of Dolby digital sound, Ray Dolby passed away on 12th September 2013 at his home in San Francisco at the age of 80. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years and had been diagnosed with leukemia in July. The legendary sound engineer is survived by his wife Dagmar and two sons.
Dolby was the engineer who pioneered the hi-fi and latest noise reduction technology in audio recordings that produced clearer sound for music and cinema. His name became synonymous with home sound systems and cinema and he became an icon in the sound-technology arena.
Born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in the San Francisco area, Dolby began his career in the audio and visual recording fields by helping to develop a videotape recording system for the Ampex Corporation in the 1950s. Later, he went on to complete his Ph.D. at Britain’s Cambridge University and in 1965 founded the Dolby Laboratories Inc. in London. Initially his laboratory was known for his work in noise reduction of audio recordings and surround sound. Later Dolby moved his company to San Francisco in 1976.
In 1989 Dolby was awarded with an Oscar for his contributions to cinema, which he shared with Dolby executive Ioan Allen. He was also given music’s Grammy award 1995 and television’s Emmys in 1989 and 2005 for his work.
As per novelist Tom Dolby, the legendary sound engineer’s son, his father was not only a great engineer but was a great music lover and the hi-tech (Dolby) sound could be created only due to his father’s great passion for music and arts.