Category Archives: Music

Technology against vuvuzelas

I want be sincere with you: I must secretely confess that I hate those irritating vuvuzela sounds everywhere. With the advent of the FIFA World Cup and every single spot in the city being giant-flat-screen-crowded, you hear the vuvuzela tune way too often. I tried to watch the match without sound, kind of boring… I needed to get rid of vuvuzelas.

If you’ve never seen a vuvuzela, just look at the picture on the right or click here to listen to it. The fact is that I was looking for a way to kill that sound from my own TV. As many of you know, I have all my computers running on Linux. Also my TV runs on Linux (home theater solution on an old Athlon AMD box). So I started thinking about how to kill the humming 120dB sound that is transmitted live with every soccer match.

The solution I found is quite simple: vuvuzelas emit a B-flat tone, at a frequency of about 233 Hz. You need to kill not only that frequency, but also its main octave harmonics (frequency x2, x4, x8). That is: the audio software should filter the frequencies at 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hertz and also their nearby frequencies, to included those de-tuned hell’s horns. This will automatically mute all “well-tuned” vuvuzelas.

The Linux world has already provided wonderful implementations of this concept:

An example of VuvuzeLautlos implementation:

Windows also got one filter:  Stardock have made an application which wraps our plugin and automatically filters your web browser’s audio output. Get it here.

Do you think I just exagerate and you absolutely love the sound? No problem, we will also get you some satisfaction: YouTube has included a Vuvuzela-include button on some videos. If you click on the football like button, it turns red and you can hear vuvuzela background tunes.