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Behind the Dorrough Meter Collection

Dec 15, 2008

Dorrough Electronics designs and manufactures precision audio and video monitoring devices. For over 20 years, Dorrough has pioneered new technologies in audio signal processing and monitoring for the broadcast, motion picture, and recording industries.

Dorrough Electronics founder Mike Dorrough grew up with a love for radio and an insatiable desire to understand how sound devices worked. In the early 1960's, Mike worked as a sound mixer for a recording company owned by radio icon Casey Kasem and Bob Hudson. During that period, he devised a revolutionary Multi-band (or "Discriminate") Audio Processing system. By achieving optimum relationships between frequency, time, and amplitude in the complex waveform, Discriminate Audio Processing provided greater loudness with no reduction in fidelity.

The initial success of Discriminate Audio Processing led Mike to a position with Motown and later to RCA Records. Realizing that his system had even greater implications for the broadcast market, in 1965 one of his first Multi-Band Composite Audio Processors was installed at a popular LA radio station.

In 1971, Mike decided to set up his own factory to produce his processors, and launched Dorrough Electronics. Within a few years, a variety of terms widely used in the audio field today like "Multi-band Processing", "Psycho-Acoustics", "Relative Audio-Power to Peak Amplitude", and "Sound-Density" would either be coined or popularized by Dorrough, to describe the effects and benefits of the Discriminate Audio Processor.

Dorrough realized that the perceived loudness of sound is a mathematical function of time and amplitude, and the Dorrough Loudness Monitors grew directly out of the Discriminate Audio Processor. Using patented technology developed to give broadcast and recording engineers a true indication of loudness as perceived by the human ear, Dorrough Loudness Monitors graphically display audio power. Because Average and Peak readings are based on a real-time waveform analysis, the degree of processing, compression, and even distortion are indicated by the relationship between the average and peak indicators.

For his many contributions to world of professional audio, in 2000, Dorrough was honored with a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.