Quieting the Vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup

June 16, 2010

South Africa - Jun 15, 2010 - While the FIFA World Cup catches the attention of sports fans around the world, the droning sound of the vuvuzela is catching the ire of broadcasters. The popular noise maker has become as much a nuisance as symbol of the event. Many broadcasters are trying to deal with the noisy instrument as it sometimes drowns out the commentators.

Waves Audio has released a processing plug-in to reduce the problematic sound of the omnipresent trumpet. Working with a major television broadcaster, Waves crafted a real-time processing chain consisting of two plug-ins: The WNS Waves Noise Suppressor and the Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer. The processing chain is already being used by several major broadcast outlets.

The processing chain for Vuvuzela noise reduction is now available as load-and-use sessions for Pro Tools, Waves MultiRack and Cubase.

Less high-tech solutions are also circulating online. Most suggest adjusting the audio equalization of the radio or TV to notch 300Hz. The actual fundamental of the noise-maker is about 233Hz, plus it is loaded with harmonics. One site we found suggests using a series of notch filters at the harmonic frequencies.

Another option includes buying and downloading an MP3 file that has the vuvuzela sound phase inverted. This file is then played with the broadcast to acoustically cancel the offending sound.

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