Little things bring joy.

Share my happiness…

I dick around at home with some songs. My equipment is modest. Until today I used a Berry 802 mixer. Now I have a Soundcraft Spirit Folio Lite, 12 channels plus tape i/o etc., purchased used from my local “Cash Converter” here in Fribourg, Switzerland for 129 Swissies, around USD100, about the same price here as a new Berry UB1202. I lost 3 band eq but gained extra stereo channels and a much sweeter, somehow clearer, cleaner sound, also better build quality and “feel”. So for a few hours today, while I cleaned and installed and tried the mixer, I was happy. IMHO it is the ability to find/take pleasure and fulfilment from such modest changes that brings satisfaction in life. If I was rich and could always buy new gear, I don’t believe I would enjoy it as much as this modest improvement. I don’t care if I paid 20 francs too much or whatever, I feel I have made a little progress that will see me content with my mixer for some long time.

Thanks for “listening” and understanding.
TusterBuster :;):


Good for you!

I found happiness today by studying for about three hours for a math final that I have to take next week. Well, it wasn’t the actual studying that made me happy, the happiness came when I finally quit for the day and felt that I had actually made some real progress.

Excellent. Sometimes the finds like that bring the most joy.

I have the big brother to that mixer, and I came by mine in a similar manner because I couldn’t afford/justify a new one.

Mine was used in our church, until a couple of the channel’s input connectors became a bit dodgy. Not wishing to take chances with it (crackles in the middle of a service), or spend money getting it repaired we replaced the mixer and I bought the old one for a modest sum. I just avoid using the dodgy channels (it’s got 20!), and sounds great.

Has the Folio Lite got direct out? If so, it makes the whole setup much more flexible.


John, I know what you mean - I recently passed my TELC French level B2 with 90%, which was pleasing not because I’m good at French but because I really applied myself to getting a good result.

Mark, I’m glad you’re happy with your “found” mixer. Not sure what you mean by “direct out”; there’e a main mix out, a monitor out and a tape (2trk) out, and you can feed the tape return (2trk) into the mix or not. There’s manuals for these old things here, you can probably find yours too. My Tascam US 122 audio/midi thing has a direct monitor switch so I don’t have a problem hearing myself plus everything already recorded while recording just what I’m playing.

I’ve been messing around today and I really like the sound. I don’t have golden ears and maybe it’s all autosuggestion but I think it knocks some spots off the Berry. The Berry 802 worked reliably and did its job but the Soundcraft seems nicer to listen to.


What happens when happiness comes with an ever-increasing price tag? :)

Quote (TomS @ Aug. 07 2005,12:55)
What happens when happiness comes with an ever-increasing price tag? :)

Heh… That’s the trap of consumerism based happiness - we’re convinced by the advertising media that this particular “widget” will bring happiness, sunshine, and the love of a beautiful partner, etc… and all we have to do is fork over the cash! It sounds so easy, yes? And then we usually discover that the “happiness” is fleeting, so we rush off (wallet in hand) for the next quick fix. It’s an endless circle of the quest for happiness with an ever-increasing price tag, as you said.

I’ve found that since I quit watching TV (I still rent movies, though) about 4 years ago, I’m a bit more satisfied with things that I already own. My 1996 minivan runs just fine, and it’s paid for. I honestly can’t see the logic in buying a new one (probably because I haven’t been subjected to a bombardment of brain-washing advertisements).

I must add that this place does nothing to help my G.A.S., however.


Ah, a subject dear to my heart.
Yes, it’s a truism that the things you struggle the hardest for bring the most joy.
Money means nothing when searching for your hearts’ desire.
That’s one reason I certainly don’t envy the current generation (well, apart from youth, beauty and wild rampant sex*)


*not necessarily in that order

Congrats on the mixer. I have a little Soundcraft and have been pretty happy with it.

The simple pleasure of the day is that I’m connected to the net (thanks to Knoppix). A very long tearful and possibly costly story before with no happy windows ending in sight.

"What happens when happiness comes with an ever-increasing price tag? :)"

I go down to my local library and borrow some William Burroughs - reminds me about the junkie in me, the price, the way the sellers have us over a barrel, and how junk always changes those who it owns. I figure we each have our own brands of junk.

Then sometimes I write something about it cause it seems that “What price happiness” is a universal question.


Tom, well, that was sort of the implied point to my little post; I obtained a bit of joy for a very modest outlay. The corollary being that many of us need to spend serious money on the latest toys, fashions and gizmos to feel that we are among the favoured ones and doing OK. As anyone with some experience of life and some common sense discovers, materialism and consumerism do not lead to nirvana.

I live in safe, beautiful Switzerland where unemployment is low (except for me, I’ve been out of work for almost a year now) and the standard of living is among the highest in the world. Health care is excellent. Quality of life is really good. Yet there is more depression and suicide here than in most other developed countries (see WHO statistics here ). Why? Because, IMHO, people have no other worries, and they have time, so they worry about their happiness. You see the same with most rich people too; blessed with money and leisure time, they fret about themselves and their relationships.

Speaking of relationships, that’s another modern issue linked, I maintain, to consumerism. Marriages end because one or both partners isn’t happy. In the past people stayed married, got on with it and were probably happier than the modern soul-searchers.

John: GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome, right? Afflicts most amateur musos, photographers, computer nerds etc. Enthusiasm for the latest and best in the mistaken belief that you’ll do better if the gear is better. It’s true, my mixer won’t help me to write better songs, or to sing and play better.

Beefy Steve, you’re right about the poor yoof of today, obsessed with looking cool and thereby missing many of the joys of childhood and adolescence.

TrackGrrrl– thanks for the William Burroughs tip, I never read any of his stuff, I will now.

The world is certainly a better place thanks to n-Track and the n-Thusiasts on this forum.


Can’t buy me love.

Sez it all for me. :D

Nice mixer - I’ve got one as well.
It has got inserts on the 1st 4 channels (can be used as direct outs)

What I love about mine is the flexibility that such a small mixer gives you.
You can set the vu meters to show you the whole mix, or just the level of the channel you’re busy with. You can also route the 2track return to earphones only or into the mix. (That makes it easy for me to get 7 seperate channels into my 1010lt, and be able to have seperate headphone monitor all using the same mixer: 1 to 4 using insert and the channel fader closed, 5 and 6 hardpanned left and right with the main outputs going into 5 and 6 on the soundcard, and channel 7 going out via the AUX1 (set to prefader) and it’s channel fader down as well. Then I bring a stereo output from the soundcard back into the mixer using 2trk return, and set that to only go to the headphones, and I’m set. If I want to I can use the built in preamp on channel 1 or 2 of the 1010lt, and then have 8 simultanious (seperated) inputs into the PC using only this little mixer, while having the monitor come back and being fed (in isolation) into the headphones)

It is indeed a keeper.

About the happiness thing, I sit and stress at work about all sorts of silly things, and then when I go home and start to open the gate to pull my car in my wife, the dog and the cat (yes the cat too) comes to the front door. Wife stands and wait at the door, the dog and the cat comes rushing down to meet me halfway.
Then I’m in heaven - you know how the good ol’ man’s head works: ‘I was missed, and therefore they do appreciate me’.

Either that or the dog likes me (you can’t make an assumption that you are a good person just based on your dog’s affection), the cat knows I’m about to give him food, and my wife wants to ask me why I didn’t pick up yesterday’s clothes from the bedroom floor this morning.

But I’ll opt for option number one and arrive at heaven everyday at 17:25


Hey Tuster, I know, I was just sort of kidding around. :) But you know how it is, it’s a sad fact that sound quality and cost track each other pretty closely, with a few exceptions. But is sure is fun to find the exceptions! (and necessary, too, for me…)

Burroughs, uplifting? ??? He cut off a finger, killed his wife, and neglected his son unto death…

"Burroughs, uplifting? ??? He cut off a finger, killed his wife, and neglected his son unto death…"

All true. I was about to warn the uninitiated about Burroughs. Much of his work is horrifyingly explicit. If you are not prepared for that, please do stay away.

I never said he was uplifting, just a looking glass into the nature of addiction which is what happens when we are trying to buy happiness. He is the example of the extreme. A look at where this all led him, his thoughts about being trapped in the cycle and the way in which people are changed by it are all very relevant IMO. In some of his work he also paints a stark picture of the way individual, government and corporate self interest/greed and desire for power/control all warp society and human interaction.

If you are looking for god , don’t look to burroughs. If you are looking for a view of being trapped on the grim treadmil of addiction, the costs involved and the way in which addictions and also the basic needs for survival define power relationships, then IMO burroughs has a lot to say.


I was sort of just giving you some grief, Trackgrrrl. :) I’ve read some of his stuff, and I recognize the artistic importance of it. But it does make me uncomfortable - I never know exactly how to respond to it. I had the same problem with Kerouac’s On the Road. Actually a lot of 20th century stuff is like that for me. Those people lived crazy lives. I’m just a creature of suburbs and malls, I guess. :D

The first Burroughs work I read was Nova express. I was, and still am, very much into Sci-Fi, and that’s how I approached it, but it was hard going compared to Heinlein, Asimov, etc.

But I was sufficiently intrigued to give Naked Lunch a try, and that was even harder going.

There were no cultural anchor points. The Americanisation of Britain had only just begun; so drugs, jazz, the slang, the whole beat scene, was something very alien, very strange.

Mind you, within a very few years the UK and I had changed considerably, and I can say from experience that re-reading Naked Lunch whilst tripping is a compulsive, but ultimately very unpleasant experience.

I’ve re-read it a few times since; studying the writing style, or as an insight into a tortured soul, but I can’t ever say that the book has given me any pleasure.

But I think that is something shared by all of the Beat Generation; cynicism, pessimism and despair seems to be the overriding mood.

And that contrasted with the period in which I was first reading them, the early to mid sixties, which in the UK at least was a time of optimism and of fun.

But of course that mood did not last as the sixties aged.

I think one of the most important things about the book is how it gives an insight into the mood of a certain culture of that period, and how that mood is cyclical, never quite the same each time around, but sharing similarities.

But there again, is that the mood of the time, or just the way it appears through my ever changing eyes?

Another book I’ve just finished re-reading is Terry Pratchett’s “Only you can save Mankind”.

It’s a very funny and lighthearted SciFi, a sort of variation on “The Last Starfighter”; or at least, that’s what it says on the blurb on the back.

And that description is true, but what the writer of the blurb and many people who read it don’t seem to realise, is that it’s actually a very scathing commentary on the first Gulf War. (It was written in 1991/92).

And reading it again in light of the current Iraq war, it shows that nothing has really changed. A different bunch of people waving the same flags, mouthing the same platitudes, and making the same terrible mistakes.

But as much a social commentator as Terry Pratchett is, at least he always makes me laugh, which is something I’ve never been able to say about Burroughs. :D


PS: Oh yeah, I’ve had a Spirit Folio F1 16/2 for about 10 years, and I love it. :D