The beginning 1991 – Audio Mastering Product
Bit Works Inc. was started in 1991 designing 24 bit digital audio processors for the recording industry. Rather than heading for the crowded wide bandwidth (44/48Khz) market we concentrated our efforts on the needs of the growing interactive telephony industry.
It was a fantastic decision that was well received. We designed and manufactured our own digital signal processor design and ended up supplying the product to over 47 countries. The product was based on the ISA backplane and could seamlessly record 16 bit audio (no drop-outs) on a 8MHz (not GHz) Intel 8086 based machine. A challenge at the time.
The accompanying software design targeted small recording studios, as well as, companies that needed to record 100’s of thousands of very short recordings with a minimum of keystrokes. For example, all the surnames in a telephone book. Additionally, fully automatic mixing software was included for the development of music preview services. One of the keys to our success was the ability to batch process audio recordings to one of the 100’s (yes 100’s) of various file formats used in the telephony industry while automatically controlling power levels and equalization curves.
This product was manufactured from 1991 onward and amazingly units of this ISA based product were shipped as late as 2016.
From our company’s point of view, one of the most rewarding aspects of this business was the nice customers we got to talk to. We did not charge for technical support and in return our customers supplied us with brilliant suggests for product enhancements.
Signal Processing – 1993 Onwards
While manufacturing our DSP based audio products, we expanded the business further with our signal processing know-how to create real-time hardware based spectrum analyzers.
Mpeg Packet Multiplexers – Late 1990’s
In the late 90’s, we had a request to turn our digital signal processing in a new direction. Rather than processing audio the high speed real time performance of our signal processor was used to implement a mpeg packet switching system for an interactive digital cable TV system. We supplied a couple of versions of this product to help boot-strap product development. When the processing requirements became too much for our audio processor (as we knew they would) the design was replaced with an FPGA design by the brilliant Ian Fulton.
Film Scanning 2000’s
Looking for something new to add to our product line, we took our signal processing know-how and hardware design experience and developed a film scanning machine capable of handling various movie film formats, as well as, damage film. We continue with this as a service business and continually encounter challenging jobs when it comes to capturing old movie film.
Video Tape processing
Again, at the request of our customers, we acquired equipment to process / digitize older video formats such as 3/4″ U-matic, Beta, Betacam ,VHS 8mm and Hi-8 video tapes. This part of the business necessitated acquiring a lot older video tape machine and learning how to care for them.