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World Cup 2010 - Filtering the Annoying Vuvuzela Noise

Posted by SimonH on Jun 16, 2010 3:29:08 PM

Now we're one week into the World Cup and two things have really annoyed me:


  1. England's lack of a reliable goalkeeper (I'm an Englishman living in Texas)
  2. The constant drone of the vuvuzelas (those noisy trumpets that sound like a million angry bees)


I'm a terrible goalkeeper and I wasn't named in the English squad so I can't help with #1 on my list but I am an engineer and I can do something about #2.


Other websites have covered various attempts at filtering the vuvuzela noise but none have offered much in the way of a solution you can use at home.  My solution is an application (written with LabVIEW) that detects the fundamental frequency of the vuvuzelas (around 233Hz) and applies a notch filter to it and as many harmonics as you specify.  The end result is a significant reduction in the annoying background noise without too much interruption of the commentary and other audio.

Vuvuzela Filter.png


Hardware-wise you will need to insert your computer in the audio signal flow.  If your TV has an audio output, connect that to your sound card's line in, then connect your sound card output to however you want to listen to the game (speakers or headphones).  I stream the game to an old PC I have in the corner of my cube and I have the audio output to my laptop, which applies the filter and then outputs to my headphones (don't tell my boss).


hw setup.png




Download an installer that includes both the EXE and the Run-Time Engine (for Windows).  [Alternate download link]


A Mac .dmg is also attached for those of you rocking Mac OSX.  You'll have to install the Mac Run-Time Engine if you don't already have it (I haven't had a chance to test this build but it should work).


You can download the source code and edit it with LabVIEW 2009 (get an evaluation copy here).  If you already have the free LabVIEW 2009 Run-Time Engine you can download just the attached zip file which contains the exe.

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