Sep 132013


Ray Dolby, inventor of the Dolby noise-reduction system, has died at 80. Being way more of a music buff than a film aficionado, I didn’t know Dolby was regarded as an important innovation in the movie industry. As far as Dolby sound went regarding music in the 1970s, I thought it was a dud. How many older heads around here regularly hit that Dolby button that used to be on stereos?


  11 Responses to “Inventor of “Doubly” Sound Silenced at 80”

  1. 2000 Man

    I used it for cassette tapes, but I hated cassettes. I usually just used Dolby B because it seemed like Dolby C didn’t work well on other players. Remember DBX? I had a friend that used that all the time and his tapes were worthless unless you were at his house.

  2. Yes, I remember DBX! I didn’t understand any of that stuff, but now that you mention cassettes, I do recall one of those Dolbys, B or C, made my cassettes sound more trebly, which I always liked.

  3. misterioso

    I guess you could say he has gone on to the ultimate noise reduction.

  4. I rarely used the Dolby button unless it was one of those cheap Maxell “red” tapes. It seemed to muffle the sound to me — maybe it was the original Dolby button that did that. I think the B&C that came later were better.

    I still have a huge box of cassettes that I made and purchased –many out of the cutouts because I was so cheap and radio in Minneapolis growing up was so freaking bad. I would nearly always tape a version of my new record of the day for the car. I was also big on mixed tapes — a lot of “best of” stuff including my immortal “A Decade of Gary Wright — 1970-80.” What a geek.

    BTW — This bad boy has a Dolby button!

  5. I was just thinking of your boom box the other day, after one of my coworkers got made fun of for still having one on her desk!

  6. BigSteve

    So you mean you turned off the Dolby so that there would be more treble, even though that meant more hiss?

  7. No, I meant that if I pushed one of those Dolby buttons that it would “thin out” worn, dull-sounding cassettes, making them sound “more exciting” to my ears. There may have been more hiss, but that stuff (like record surface noise) rarely bothers me. I want more! More sound!

  8. “I rarely used the Dolby button unless it was one of those cheap Maxell “red” tapes. It seemed to muffle the sound to me”

    Me too!

  9. BigSteve

    A near constant lust for excitement is your cross to bear.

  10. I know, I’m the whitebread Iggy Pop.

  11. cliff sovinsanity

    Hmm, all this discussion has reminded me that I never got past the difference between a normal and high bias cassette.

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