Systems Engineer Rafael Pereira Talks About Concert PA Systems Systems Engineer Rafael Pereira Talks About Concert PA Systems...

Rafael Pereira is a stand-out systems engineer among those working with concert PA systems and professional audio engineering. From a young age, fascinated by analog synthesizers, he has evolved into the architect behind the largest-ever L-Acoustics deployment. This blog explores Rafael’s impressive career and his pivotal role in the 2023 World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal, showcasing his commitment and skill in the field.

The Genesis of a Sound Maestro

Rafael’s intrigue with sound began in his childhood. “As a kid, I fell in love with analog synthesizers, but soon I realized the complexity of sound itself fascinated me: controlling, summing, phasing & creating,” Rafael shares. His early fascination laid the groundwork for what would become a storied career in sound engineering. Starting his professional journey in 2006 with a sound engineering degree, Rafael quickly moved from mixing in small venues to handling larger gigs, eventually focusing solely on the concert sound system itself.

The Ascent to System Engineering

The transition from small venues to grand stages wasn’t rapid but fueled by persistent curiosity, hard work, and an undying passion for sound. “After graduating, things started slowly. I began working sound in bars before setting up PA systems for small rental companies. I had all the theory but was missing experience,” Rafael recalls. His perseverance paid off, and soon, Rafael was orchestrating sound systems for larger events, a stepping stone that led him to specialize in System Engineering.

Mastering the Concert PA System at WYD 2023

Rafael’s defining moment came with the opportunity to manage the concert PA system for WYD 2023, attended by an astonishing 1.5 million people. The task was colossal: deploying 1100 L-Acoustics loudspeakers across a 3km area. “When I first heard about the event, I had no idea of its scale. The main concern was ensuring the Pope’s speech was intelligible to everyone in the massive outdoor space,” he explains.

The deployment process was meticulous, involving the placement of 109 towers and a sophisticated network of audio and control systems linked by 103 km of fiber. Rafael worked closely with experts from Pixellight, utilizing Soundvision software to predict coverage and fine-tune the system, ensuring every attendee experienced crystal clear sound, regardless of their location.

Insights and Advice for Aspiring Sound Engineers

Reflecting on the success of WYD 2023, Rafael highlights the importance of preparation and the right tools. “Soundvision was a game-changer, allowing us to predict SPL, delays, and tonal balance. It allowed us to fine-tune the system quickly and efficiently,” he notes. The event showcased the capabilities of a professional sound system and solidified Rafael’s reputation as a top-tier system engineer.

Rafael advises those aspiring to work on large-scale events, “Study, work hard, and stay prepared. When the opportunity comes, you should be ready for it. Also, maintain an open mind and always be ready to learn new things.”

Rafael Pereira’s career and accomplishments highlight the critical importance of a system engineer in successfully orchestrating major events. His proficiency with concert sound systems has established a high standard within the industry, demonstrating that one can achieve boundless success through passion and perseverance.