Simple software can filter out that vuvuzela whine from World Cup broadcasts

As unlikely as it might be that we’re sending warm thoughts to Germany over the World Cup, we have to admit that news that they’ve figured out a way to block the vuvuzela howl is music to our ears.

The plastic stadium horn, blown by World Cup fans to celebrate such moments in a game as — well, every moment — has achieved unprecedented fame and rancor this Cup, as its B-flat drone is broadcast around the world.

From German blog Surfpoeten comes a DIY solution for home Cup-watchers driven to distraction by the stadium horns: a software filter that selectively mutes the particular frequency of the vuvuzela. The horn drones, apparently, at 233 Hz, with harmonic overtones at 466 Hz, 932 Hz, and 1864 Hz.

Tube, the inventor behind Surfpoeten, runs the audio from his TV through a Mac Mini running Logic Express. A series of bandpass EQ filters in the software neatly excise the offensive frequencies, leaving the game blissfully vuvuzela-free.

Tube isn't the only one with that idea — at least one pub in New York was spotted yesterday doing the same with a component graphic equalizer hooked to a giant TV.

In-person spectators at the games still have little recourse. Perhaps in 2022, when we all attend holographic games at our home stadia, EQ filters will be built in.

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