Dowd helped to shape the artists that he worked with, and because he worked with an array of great artists on some of the world's greatest recordings, Dowd was highly influential in creating the sound of the second half of the 20th Century. It was he who encouraged Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records to install an Ampexeight-track recorder, enabling Atlantic to be the first recording company to record using multiple tracks.
Dowd is credited as the engineer who popularized the eight-track recording system for commercial music and popularized the use of stereophonic sound. He also pioneered the use of linear channel faders as opposed to rotary controls on audio mixers. He devised various methods for altering sound after the initial recording.