Face of the day

Dr Ray Dolby, OBE, who has died aged 80, was an academic, an engineer and a true audio enthusiast, responsible for the electronics behind video recording, and of course the technologies for noise reduction and surround sound bearing his name.

From systems designed to remove the hiss from the humble cassette tape, thus turning it from a dictation medium to a true audio format, to professional noise reduction employed in analogue recording studios, and from the surround systems in the analogue cinema age to the latest Dolby TrueHD soundtracks on Blu-ray discs – all are testament to the achievements and constant curiosity of Ray Dolby.

After all, this was the man who said that ‘To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in this darkness and grope towards an answer, to put up with anxiety about whether there is an answer’, but who nonetheless managed almost single-handedly to invent an entire industry. – gramophone


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