This Day in Death

9.12.13: Audio Pioneer Ray Dolby – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:19 pm September 17, 2013

RAY_DOLBYMan, it sure takes a lot of skill and equipment to faithfully reproduce the sound of Bruce Willis pretending to act in 7.1 surround. But, you know, doing the Lord’s work is its own reward.

 

Ray Dolby, the audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories and definitely had about a million girlfriends in high school, died last week at the age of 80. Cause of death is being reported as leukemia, but it was probably mixed with a little psychological stress brought on by his failure to develop and commodify the brown note. What the hell is wrong with this country when I have to manually control my own bowels instead of blasting my coccyx with an ultra-powerful sonic gun like a civilized human being?

Blind me with science, Block Quote! Wait, sorry, that was the other guy. You know what, screw it, just do the thing anyway.

In the 1960s, when magnetic tape was coming to prominence as a recording medium, “tape hiss” seemed to be an inevitable part of the listening experience. It was a problem that plagued all types of magnetic tape formats, from open-reel to audiocassette.

Dolby and his team invented a recording (and playback) process that greatly diminished the unwanted noise.

Dolby’s breakthrough would later be applied to feature films and soon become an industry standard until digital production made the noise-reduction process unnecessary, gradually eroding Dolby’s significance in modern technology. The same thing happened with the internet and porn, and now clammy-handed old men in drug stores buying multiple polybagged copies of Screw just look weird. There was a time when parents would proudly point those men out to their children, promising that they, too, could grow up to do the same if they stayed in school and never moved out of the attic. Damn you, technology! Will nothing stop the cursed deathmarch you call “progress”?!

 

Source: Time

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