BUILT BY HAND

Meet Carpenter Rick van der Bult

Rick van der Bult has managed to combine his greatest interests; music and building. His love for music grew into a quest in what makes a good music studio great, a search that eventually led to a career as a designer of music studios and home theaters.

Rick has always had an interest in seeing things come together. He started out as a music producer but his interest in building led his career in another direction; designing and building music studios.

According to Rick the best thing about his job is also the most challenging. Working with something you love is a balancing act between feeling free and managing one’s time. Solving customers’ problems is what keeps him going.

Tell us about your background.

I grew up in a technical family, both my mother and father are very creative and for as long as I can remember we built everything ourselves. That sparked my interest in seeing something come together from nothing and doing it by yourself every step of the way.

How did you learn your profession?

I was really into music when I was younger and after high school, I decided to pursue a career in music production. I took a course at SAE (School of Audio Engineering) to learn more about music theory and how to work the gear in studio. That’s where it all started for me. I was working in more and more studio’s and was intrigued about what made a good studio great, besides the acoustics of a room. I built a small studio at home where I recorded music with other artists and producers and I slowly started to design rooms for them as well. When their labels followed, it took off from there.

"Every job comes with a different set of problems that need a solution and I think figuring out those solutions is the most inspiring work of all."

How did you come to work as a carpenter?

I would always build stuff even when I was doing music, if it wasn’t a bass trap (soundproof room) then I was building a new desk or speaker stands.

What type of carpentry do you do?

Everything from hanging joists to finished carpentry of studios.

What tools do you prefer to use?

I use lasers for measuring and leveling but at the end of the day I wouldn’t manage without a pencil, square and tape measure. I love the pencil, everything starts by measuring and marking out something and a pencil is easy to grab, sharpen and mark. It won’t fall out of your pocket and the tip won’t break when you put the pencil back in the holster.

What are the most important features of good tools, according to you?

Well thought out design, accuracy and durability.

Do you have an idol that you look up to?

My Father. I’ve been doing this for quite some time but there are still things that I need his advice on.

What quality or attributes do you feel contribute to your career success?

I try to listen to people and be nice. I think that’s the most important thing.

Any tips and tricks that simplify your workday that you would like to share?

For me the most important thing is to leave a clean workspace at the end of the day and to make my bed in the morning. It’s small things, but it helps to keep my head calm and it gives me more space to think.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The freedom of being self-employed and having a job I love.

What’s most challenging?

Doing something you love everyday tends to take up a lot of time. So, I’d say time management.

Tell us about your most inspiring assignment.

It’s impossible to name one specific job. Every job comes with a different set of problems that need a solution and I think figuring out those solutions is the most inspiring work of all. It’s a journey, the most inspiring job is probably the next one.

Facts

  • Name: Rick van der Bult
  • Profession: Music Studio and Home Theater
  • Lives in: The Netherlands
  • Instagram: @studiofabrique

Tools featured in this story

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