Recognition for 50 years of innovation in audio
IBC is to award its highest accolade, the International Honour for Excellence, to Dolby Laboratories. In IBC’s 50th anniversary year, it reflects on more than 50 years of continual improvement in sound from Dolby.
At the time of the first IBC in 1967, one of the big technological challenges was tape noise in professional recordings. Ray Dolby, who was part of the Ampex team which developed the first video recorders, applied his engineering genius to the issue and developed a transformational product, the Dolby A-Type Audio Noise Reduction system. It rapidly became a de facto standard, and was instrumental in making multitrack music recording practical, leading to new, unfettered creativity in the studio.
For the consumer cassette format came Dolby B, and the name became part of everyone’s language.
In 1971 Dolby began working to improve cinema audio, and in that year ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was the first to use Dolby noise reduction on all its pre-mixes. A big impact on cinema sound occurred in 1977 when ‘Star Wars’ was released with a high fidelity 4-channel optical sound track.
In 1992 ‘Batman Returns’ was the first film to be released in Dolby Digital, which provided practical 5.1 channel audio that co-existed with the legacy Dolby Surround optical soundtrack. Later in that decade the Dolby Digital codec enabled television and DVD to bring 5.1 channel audio to the home. In 2012, with the release of ‘Brave’, Dolby reinvented cinema sound again by delivering Dolby Atmos®; object-based audio that can precisely place individual sounds anywhere in a three-dimensional space, including overhead.
“The significance of Dolby to the development of the creative electronic arts cannot be underestimated,” said Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC. “Indeed, we honoured Ray Dolby himself with the predecessor of the International Honour for Excellence, the John Tucker Award, in 2000.
“In our 50th anniversary year, this is a great opportunity to reflect on how far we have come since 1967, and how IBC continues to reflect the innovative, cutting edge of our industry,” Crimp added. “Dolby’s great achievements in changing the soundtrack of all our lives, over 50 years, cannot be underestimated, and I am delighted that Dolby is the recipient of the IBC2017 International Honour for Excellence.”
The award will be received by Craig Todd, Senior Vice President and CTO at Dolby Laboratories, as part of the IBC2017 Awards Ceremony on Sunday 17 September at 18:30. The ceremony takes place in the Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos equipped RAI Auditorium, and is free to all IBC visitors.