Wikipedia (Beta): Dolby Laboratories

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Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
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    Noise reduction systems: Dolby A
    The input signal spectrum is divided into 4 adjacent bands, as illustrated in the following figure.
    Noise reduction systems: other Dolby systems
    Towards the end of the 1960s it became necessary to employ Noise Reduction systems on home systems whose main characteristics included having magnetic tapes whose rolling-speed was very slow and therefore made a lot of whirring noise. The Dolby A system being too expensive and only accessible in professional work-contexts, a simpler version was created called Dolby B.
    In sound engineering, it is common practice and in fact advisable to decentralize the sound sources on the stereophonic sound field, so that the single sounds may stand out more.

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