Every since I could use a tape recorder I have been capturing audio. As a child I would make multi-track recordings with two tape players. Capturing sound on one deck, then playing the original recording back while arranging another layer of sound and capturing the combined sounds to a secondary tape recorder...repeat...layer..multi-track 101. Later in high school, I purchased my first 4 track recorder. It was amazing to have the ability to reproduce the former process all in one device. This recorder had added value– Dolby NR. 

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I studied film at Grand Valley State University in the late 90's, my emphasis being...you guessed it, sound design. Under the tutelage of Peiter Snapper and Joseph McCargar, I fell in love with my first medium of creative. Joe's practical approach to explaining the phenomon of sound was my foundation of creative aesthetics. Sound as he explained in such a rudementary fashion, was a three dimensional world. That world consited of height (frequency content), width (stereo imaging) and depth (the room or decay of a sound). These three dimensions were the building blocks that eventually fashion me into a professional sound designer. Following my studies at GVSU, I went on to engineer and produce sound recordings for The Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Griffins, countless advertising jingles in West Michigan, as well as work with local artists such as Tiger Passion, Man at Arms, Morale, and Semi Casual Bedtime

Sound was a gateway drug to other mediums. The piano is said to be a foundation instrument. If you can play piano, there is a great chance that you will play another instrument or several other instruments. Sound design in the digital age, has in all respects, open the doors to the mediums of visual communication design and production art. It has made me a well rounded creative, and I owe my being and career to the fundementals of sound recording. 

Ray Dolby was a visionary and his contributions to the sonic capture of cultural significance will be forever remembered. He pioneered the cassette audio recorder in the late 40's at Ampex. In the 1950's he was on the team that developed the first practical video recorder. Most profound of his inventions, was his contribution to sound design for film with the advent of Dolby A Stereo first used in Stanley Kubrick's 1971 "A Clockwork Orange."  Following it's use in "Star Wars," theatre's across the globe embraced his format for playback. 

 "To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty,  to work in the darkness and grope toward an answer, to put up with the anxiety about whether there is an answer," Ray Dolby.

The 20th century accellerated the human condition of expression in ways never witnessed before. Ray Dolby was a prophet, architect and pioneer for the aural medium. Countless artists, musicians, and film makers salute you Ray. Thank you for the tools to  enhance our perceptions. Your spirit will continue to resonate!

 

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