How To Silence Vuvuzela Horns With An EQ Filter

How To Silence Vuvuzela Horns With An EQ Filter

If you’re watching the World Cup, you’ve no doubt learned about the vuvuzela, a buzzing horn capable of drowning out TV announcers. Here’s how to filter the vuvuzela buzz from your World Cup broadcasts.

A German hacker named Tube details how you he banished the vuvuzela from his World Cup audio by selectively muting four frequencies on your equalizer. A (loose) translation from Tube’s German post:

For the Vuvuzela-killer, we need only a high-slope band stop filter that takes out the corresponding frequencies. For this, in principle, any modern computer that has a sound card with low latency and corresponding software should work. In our case, we used a Mac Mini and Logic Express 8. (Actually, such a complex software such as Logic Express is not necessary. We use it only because it was already on it on the computer and the necessary filters are included.)

You Don’t Need a Computer

In fact, you don’t need a computer at all. If you’ve got a stereo with an equaliser or even a TV with a built in equaliser, you can adjust your hardware settings to significantly filter out the noise. For example, the Book of Joe blog details the process on a Samsung TV.

Before and After

We spent the morning here at the Lifehacker labs trying out the settings ourselves, and found that if 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 you’re equipment can’t quite duck that low, just go as low as you can. Here’s how it worked when we tried it in GarageBand on a Mac:

Video by Adam Dachis.

Remember, the video is just an example of the EQ adjustments in action. You should be able to use those basic settings in any software or hardware that can handle them. As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to silence the vuvuzela with an equaliser — again, at 465Hz and 235Hz (or as close to those numbers as you can get). Got another method that’s worked for you? Let’s hear it in the comments.

Vuvuzela-Filter (English Translation) [via Hack a Day]


    • The whole point of playing the tournament in different countries/continents is to change the conditions and allow those countries to express their footballing culture however they like. Is there an eq filter available to filter out annoying westerners complaining about something slightly different to their liking?

      • Damian, maybe you can come up with one yourself? Ironically it will probably cancel out your silly shrill complaint as well…

        Football lovers (of which I am not one) should be able to harness technology to greater enhance their experience. If that means drowning out background noise which is drowning out commentator voices then what’s the problem?

        If you see the use of equalisers as a form of of racism, then perhaps you’re a little too sensitive to be allowed on the Internet alone?

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