R.I.P. Ray Dolby

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Ray Dolby, the engineer who pioneered the noise reduction in audio recordings that produced clearer sound for music and cinema, has passed at 80.

Dolby, whose name became synonymous with home sound systems and cinema, and won an Oscar, a Grammy and two Emmys for his work, died at his home in San Francisco, according to Dolby Laboratories Inc.

Dolby had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years and had been diagnosed with leukemia in July.

“Though he was an engineer at heart, my father’s achievements in technology grew out of a love of music and the arts,” Dolby’s son, novelist Tom Dolby, said in a statement.

“He brought his appreciation of the artistic process to all of his work in film and audio recording.”

Dolby was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in the San Francisco area. He began his career in the audio and visual recording fields by helping to develop a videotape recording system for the Ampex Corporation in the 1950s.

He went on to complete his PhD at Cambridge University in the UK and in 1965 founded Dolby Laboratories in London. It was initially best known for his work in noise reduction of audio recordings and surround sound.

Dolby moved his company to San Francisco in 1976 and in 1989 was awarded an Oscar for his contributions to cinema, a prize he shared with Dolby executive Ioan Allen.

Dolby also was given music’s Grammy award 1995 and Emmys for his television work in 1989 and 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Dagmar, and two sons.

Never Surrender Inspiration

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Have you ever came across someone who claims that the sixties and seventies was a vastly superior age for rock n roll? Who am I kidding, of COURSE you have met someone like this! It is no secret that a large majority of rock listeners across the globe agree that the state of music is steadily going downhill and while most of that criticism may cater to the state of the music industry, a majority of the criticism also stems from the life of a musician. I don’t know about you, but whenever I picture the life of a classic rock star, I see tvs getting thrown out of hotel windows and groupies blitzing the back stage as if the Dali Lama himself is waiting for them in the dressing rooms. Now that the music industry has evolved into the beast that it is today, the life of a musician has drastically changed. There is no time for partying and living the rockstar life with your band mates! It is evident that musicians today have to focus more on the business side than just letting the music carve their path. Read More

Positive Determined Intelligent Calculated Energetic Youth: The Story of P. Dicey (Part III)

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As Dicey’s music career began to blossom into a much greater force, his appreciation for the process of producing began to flourish as well. In 2005, Dicey decided to file for a voluntary discharge from the Nigerian Army and focus on his career as a musician. His time away from the army would grant him a greater opportunity to truly focus on honing his craft. Residing in Jos, he began producing new music and getting the chance to perform these songs at clubs where he met several other musicians like DJ Mix Master Brown. Brown would take on quite an important role in Dicey’s career, for he gave him professional advice on where to take his music career. Dicey would take his advice and create the song “Baby Girl” which was also eventually remixed by Mix Master Brown. Read More

The Third Annual California Music Industry Summit

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The third annual California Music Industry Summit took place at Laney College on June 8-9th. I couldn’t speak for how many people showed up on the first day, but when I made the trek to Oakland on its second day, I found myself pretty damn amazed by the turn out upon arrival. However, it was not surprising to see so many people attending such an event. The aim of CMIS is to introduce everyone to the world of the music industry by setting up a series of panels that covered just about every position in the industry that you could think of. The panels were hosted by actual professionals whom were well learned in their topics, which truly did show with each panel. The people attending event ranged from artists and band managers to reporters and unsigned musicians who just wanted to learn a little bit more about the industry. It was evident that everyone here was very serious about their pursuit of getting their foot in the door, but spirits were also very high at the same time. But when you bring together hundreds of music lovers within the same conference, it’s damn near impossible to agitate tension. Frankly, it was the exact opposite, standing in the middle of that campus with all of these people I didn’t know. We were all just eager to learn what CMIS had to offer. Read More

Waking Into A Dream: The Story of P. Dicey (Part I)

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Just about any artist can tell you that their fame didn’t come easy. It’s evident that no one becomes a star overnight and from the drastic changes in the music industry that has been taking its toll over the past decade, becoming a star isn’t getting any easier. But such an observation really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading this. Frankly, there’s nothing really worth having if it simply falls into your lap. Succeeding is about embracing the present in order to build a stronger future. Life throws so many different curves that it’s almost too easy to throw in the towel and settle for second best. In this series of articles, we will follow the story of an artist who tackled every curve for what its worth. And although his story isn’t close to being finished, the events which have already unfolded that have led up to this moment in his career are far too astounding to go unheard. Read More

Dancing About the Avenues of Memory

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This video has been floating around the internet for a good while now, but I came across it just recently. In the video, we witness an elderly patient in a nursing home who seems to be quite ill with a fading memory. When his nurse addresses him, we aren’t even certain if he knows that he is being spoken to. It truly does hit home for me seeing someone in such a state for there are plenty of people close to me who suffer from something similar. It truly does make you wonder what his personality was like before his illness began taking its toll. Of course, he hadn’t spent his entire life mentally restrained; I’m sure this man has an entire life story that he could share if he were able to. Let’s face it: all of us do. No matter how mundane or chaotic our lives may become, there is always something to be told. Unfortunately for must, that idea merely becomes a fading fantasy. Read More

Pirates of the Internet: The Curse of P2P File Sharing

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In my younger and more vulnerable years, I remember standing in line at my elementary school cafeteria, patiently waiting for my daily serving of stale cardboard pizza. A friend of mine came up to me and started talking about downloading a movie that hadn’t even hit theaters yet off of some program called Kazaa. Me being young and extremely inquisitive politely asked him: “what the hell is a Kazaa?” And this, my friends, is when I first learned about file sharing. Read More

The Future of Recording

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It isn’t really news that recording technology has greatly advanced over the past decade. The digital world is now dominating the internet as companies such as iTunes and Napster provide a plethora of our favorite artists at our fingertips. However, there are still quite a bit of people who favor the old fashion sound of an analog recording than they do digital. Who needs that crystal clear junk? Vinyl is where its at! No matter how crisp an engineer can master their tracks, nothing compares to that warmth that vinyl offers. On the other hand, there are a hell of a lot of people who don’t understand why someone would still be stuck on such an outdated form of technology. What’s so good about hearing your music crackle and pop? We’re in a new age now; holding on to the past will merely slow down our advancement. But if we are so split down the middle, it truly does make us wonder where this progression will lead us. Is the digital world going to become so polished that it takes away the authenticity from the music? Or will it triumph and grace us with some of the most amazing listening experiences we could ever imagine? Read More

One Month Until ASCAP EXPO!

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The ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO is almost here!

For those who haven’t heard of this event, you’re in for a treat. The ASCAP EXPO is an event that takes place in Los Angeles, CA and has been running strong for the past six years. Now, a plethora of producers, songwriters, editors, musicians, and just about any other cat in the music industry that you could think of are coming together for the program’s seventh annual meeting. From April 19th-21st, the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel will house the event. Which gives us plenty of time to make our way throughout the EXPO and take in as much as we can from the artists who are here to share their methods of making it in the music industry. Read More