Ray Dolby

by Alan A. Thomas
(Ascot, UK)

It was so sad to hear of the death of Ray Dolby on the BBC program Last Word today.

I am an electronics engineer at ARM Limited and worked at Dolby Labs in the 1960s in Stockwell, London, until Mr. Dolby decided to move his design team to San Francisco.

I will always remember Mr. Dolby as an unassuming gentleman who always had time to say hello if I happened to be working late in the lab, that was opposite his office, before he left for the evening around 20:00.

I remember working very late on the first Cinema Sound Enhancement system, an analog multiband graphic equalizer, and installing it for demonstration at the ABC Cinema in Edgware Road, London.

I also remember sitting in the small studio situated on the top floor of the Stockwell office listening to the first BBC experiments in surround sound that must have captured Mr Dolby's imagination. Who could have dreamed, other than Mr. Dolby, what that could lead to.

The chief engineer then was Mr. David Robinson, and it was Mr. Dolby and Mr Robinson to whom I am eternally grateful for giving me my first opportunity in electronic design which has led to a very successful 45 year career in electronic engineering.

My sincere condolences to his family, he was a very special man.

Alan A. Thomas

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Jun 05, 2023
Ray Dolby NEW
by: AnonymousPhilip C Plunkett

Ray and the design department relocated to San Francisco in 1976. In the 1980s Dave C would only have had a chance to see Ray on one of his visits back to London.
I worked at Dolby Labs in Stockwell, London, between 1974 and 1977. The chief engineer David Robinson offered me a job and I worked as a design engineer in their film program. I designed electronics for the first stereo-optical soundtrack recorder hosted at EMI Elstree Studios. I also designed the centre-channel synthesiser used in the CP100, Dolby's first stereo cinema processor.
When Ray relocated the head office and design department to San Francisco I remained in the UK to provide technical support to the sales team (which initially comprised only Elmar Stetter and myself). By 1977 I decided to move on and started my own business, grateful for the experience and insight that working at Dolby had given me.
Ray Dolby was undoubtedly a great engineer and visionary - but he was so much more. He understood the importance of manufacturing products of quality and promoting them in the marketplace. Most importantly he understood the importance of patents, copyright and protecting his company’s efforts. He also had the ability to attract staff with the loyalty, skills and drive to push his visions forward.
Thank you Ray.

Jan 29, 2023
Ray Dolby, R.I.P.
by: Dave C

I worked at Dolby Labs, in Stockwell during the early 80s as a wireman, not as one of the few contractors working there the same time.
I never once saw or spoke to Ray D, as he was always busy working hard in his laboratory I guess.
Quite a nice job, one of my tasks was too upgrade the Dolby A 361 processor.

Rest in Peace, Ray.

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