Martin Paul Eve bio photo

Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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A friend chucked me an old Crumar Bit99 synthesizer from the 1980s. It’s a beast! Lovely bass sounds. Totally unusable interface. See figure A.

Bit99 instruction panel. Completely indecipherable

However, when I received it, the unit was in a bad state. Terrible fuzzy white noise sound along with every note. It sounded as though it was totally wrecked.

It’s actually, though, very easy to restore. First, download the sound packs (Sound pack A or Sound pack B, which I’ve mirrored here from in case that ever goes down).

Next, make sure that “memory protect” is set to “off” on the back. Then hook up your soundcard output to the TAPE IN port on the Crumar and turn the volume up as high as it will go. Press “TAPE” on the Bit99, then press “LOAD” (this is the dual function button also marked “SPLIT” – you don’t have to press any kind of “shift” key, just press the button). When that lights up, press play of the WAV file in one of those ZIP files to play into the tape in of the Crumar. It will take about a minute and then the “Upper” light should say “0” if it works. If it says a different number, I’m afraid you’re in a less great position.

In any case, here’s mine… ALIVE!