Crumar Bit 99 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Last updated April 29, 2003 by Pierre Gander (


About this FAQ

This FAQ was written by Pierre Gander ( I have received inspiration and bits of information from the people on the Bit mailing list ( Thanks everyone!

Note that this FAQ mainly covers the Bit 99, not its rack-mount version, Bit 01. However, much of the information is applicable to the Bit 01 as well.

The latest version of this FAQ can be found at

Copyright 2003 by Pierre Gander. This document may be redistributed only in its entirety with version date, authorship notice, and acknowledgements intact. No part of it may be sold for profit or incorporated in a commercial document without the permission of the copyright holder. Permission will be granted for complete electronic copies to be made available as an archive or mirror service on the condition that the author be notified and that the copy be kept up to date. This document is provided as is without any express or implied warranty.

1. General

1.1 What is a Bit 99?

The Bit 99 is a musical polyphonic digital synthesizer (with an 'analogue' sound).

1.2 What are the specifications for the Bit 99?

(Source: The Bit 99 owner's manual)

For further specifications, see the on-line Bit 99 owner's manual, available at

1.3 Is the Bit 99 available as a rack-mount unit?

Yes, but then it is called Bit 01. The main differences are that the Bit 01 lacks a keyboard (of course) and a MIDI out port.

1.4 When was the Bit 99 manufactured?

Around 1985.

1.5 Is the Bit 99 available in different models?

It is available with a cover in black or white.

There is also a difference between Crumar and LEM versions of Bit 99. Most probably, this difference concerns only the front cover. In the US, The LEM version was sold under the DKB-Label.

1.6 Are there photographs on the Bit 99 available?

1.7 Where can I find spare parts for the Bit 99, such as replacements for broken keys?

Since Crumar (the company that manufactured the Bit 99) is out of business since long, it is not possible to get them from there.

1.8 Is the Bit 99 available in a software emulation version (such as DXi or VSTi)?

Probably not (yet). A project was started in 2001 to make a software plugin version on the Bit 99, but so far, nothing has been released. Contact the author of this FAQ to get further information on how to contact the developer.


2.1 What is MIDI?

It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to answer that. Try a beginner's book on MIDI (should be available in any music store), or look at the article "How much for just the MIDI?" by Eric Lipscomb (available, e.g., at

2.2 What is the Bit 99's MIDI implementation?

The Bit 99 has a rather full MIDI implementation.

The full MIDI implementation details can be found in the on-line owner's manual at

3. Audio

3.1 What does the Bit 99 sound like?

It has a fat, 'analogue'-style sound. Here are some audio samples available:

3.2 Are there any artists known to have used a Bit 99 on their recordings?

4. Sound patches ("Programs")

4.1 Are there patches available?

Yes. The largest archive is at You can find links to other sites at

4.2 Is it possible to reset to the factory presets?

No, the Bit 99 has no patches stored in ROM chips, so it is not possible to reset the factory presets.

4.3 Are the factory presets publicly available?

Yes. Find them at

5. Computer software

5.1 Are there editors or librarians available for the Bit 99?

Yes, there are some editors available:

6. Documentation

6.1 Is the Bit 99 manual available on-line?

Yes, it is available either as a full document in PDF or as scanned GIF images of each page at

6.2 Are there schematics available?

You can order a circuit diagram for the rack-mount version, Bit 01, at

6.3 Where can I read more about the Bit 99?

Magazine Sound on Sound had an article in August 1998 called "Bit One/Bit 01/Bit 99 Synths (Retro)" (available on-line).

And, of course, you can find more info on the Unofficial Bit One/Bit 01/Bit 99 Synthesizer Page (

On the Bit mailing list (, you can get in contact with other Bit users and browse old messages.

Pierre Gander (