Enough With that Vuvuzela!

Published: June 18th 2010
in News » World

Screenshot from YouTube tutorial on how to silence the vuvuzela
Pic: YouTube

There comes a time, once every four years, when the entire world unites - regardless of any disputes or politics - around the game of soccer, for one major event of pure entertainment and sportsmanship, which goes by the name “World Cup”. However, this time around, everyone from home viewers to fans who have followed their teams to South Africa and even many of the players themselves, are united around an entirely different thing - their hatred for the beehive like buzzing sound of the vuvuzelas, a sound so annoying, that long after the game has ended it continues to echo in our ears. But hope is not lost for “serenity now!” Here are some tips and ideas on how to achieve your desired inner peace and tranquility.


The plastic stadium horn, which is blown constantly by over-enthusiastic World Cup fans in order to celebrate glorious moments in a game (every single moment apparently being glorious), has achieved unprecedented fame and rancor during these games. It is said that the noise is so loud that the players can’t even communicate with each other on the field. Yet, while there has been some talk of banning the evil instruments from the stadiums altogether, that brilliant idea was rejected. So now it’s all up to us to stop it and with a little bit of work and information available online we can get rid of the buzz, leaving the games blissfully vuvuzela-free.


A German hacker named Tube provides details on his blog Surfpoeten on how he banished the vuvuzela by selectively muting four frequencies on his equalizer. The bad news is that the instructions are in German. The good news is that someone has already translated it for us and it is very easy to Google it. Basically what he does is not that difficult: he runs the audio from his TV through a Mac (can be done on any computer actually) with Logic Express (sound software). A series of bandpass equalizer filters in the software neatly excise the offensive frequencies: 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hz.


Windows users can use a program named REAPER in order to block out the sound. The installation process is very easy but to save you plenty of time, download the “reaper-anti-vuvuzela.RPP” file from http://martin.bz and run it. Note that you can change the volume in the program if the output is too loud and causes some noise problems of its own, and you might have to mute the “Line In” on your computer’s volume control if you get echoed output, depending on how you set up your audio.


Actually, you don't need a PC at all. If you’ve got a stereo with an equalizer or even a TV set with a built-in equalizer, you can adjust your hardware settings to significantly filter out the noise. For example, the Book of Joe blog details the process using a Samsung TV. Lifehacker, another famous site which also deals with the vuvuzela menace, suggests that you “duck your EQ at 465Hz and 235Hz, you can in fact filter out the buzz with great results. Ideally you'll reduce each frequency by at least 40dB (which got rid of the drone completely for us), but if your equipment can't quite duck that low, just go as low as you can.”


Related articles: (vuvuzela, world cup)

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