Before an audio revolution in the mid-1960s, just about all music, dialogue and other sounds played on tape recordings had one thing in common: hiss.
The bothersome, underlying noise seemed especially unavoidable during quiet passages on the once-ubiquitous cassette tapes.
But then came an engineering breakthrough that nearly wiped out the hiss, and made the inventor's name — Dolby — world-famous.
Ray Dolby, 80, died Thursday at his home in San Francisco. The company he founded, Dolby Laboratories, released a statement saying he had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease in recent years and in July was found to have acute leukemia.
The Dolby Sound System was first...