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Peter Scheiber is considered to be the originator of the matrix format, a basic mathematical formula used to convert four channels into two which is what most matrix four channel systems are based on. He is also a musician and audio engineer.

Peter Scheiber
OccupationFounder of Scheiber quadraphonic system

In matrix quadraphonic systems four channels are converted (encoded) down to two channels. These two matrixed channels are recorded onto tape or vinyl record. Reproduction occurs via a two-channel transmission medium - in most cases a vinyl record - these are decoded back to four channels and reproduced via four loudspeakers.[1][2]

Scheiber is also the inventor of the 360-degree spatial decoder.[3]


Peter Scheiber was born in Croton-on-Hudson in New York in 1935. He grew up in Peekskill. From an early age, passionate about music and technology, he had a workbench in his bedroom for experimenting with his gadgets. He later earned a scholarship at Tanglewood Music Center and played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Later, as a professional, he was a member of orchestras in Ottawa and Texas.[4]

In 1967 Scheiber, then a 32-year-old bassoonist, came up with the idea of encoding four channels of sound in two channels and decoding them back to four. He sold a patent licence to CBS.[5]

Peter Scheiber would eventually take legal action against Dolby Laboratories and Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp for infringement of his patents.[6]


  1. ^ Scheiber, Peter (December 1969). "Toward a More Accurate Spatial Environment". Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. AES. 17 (6): 690, 691.
  2. ^ Scheiber, Peter (November 1971). "Analyzing Phase-Amplitude Matrices". Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. AES. 19 (10): 835–839.
  3. ^ Indianapolis Monthly May 2007 Page 103 Sound Effects by Amy Wimmer Schwarb (See caption "Got them surrounded")
  4. ^ Indianapolis Monthly May 2007 Page 102, 103 Sound Effects by Amy Wimmer Schwarb
  5. ^ Business Highbeam Quad sound, reincarnated. (American inventors making money from Japanese televisions and stereos)
  6. ^ 293 F.3d 1014: Peter Scheiber, Plaintiff-appellant, v. Dolby Laboratories, Inc., and Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp., Defendants-appellees