With FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, defending the rights of South African fans to blow their horns at World Cup matches, TV viewers have turned to technology to tone down the incessant buzzing that accompanies the on field action of World Cup TV coverage. In what is sure to be music to the ears of many of the users of Elgato’s EyeTV software, the company has announced a free update that features a Vuvuzela Filter.
Elgato’s Vuvuzela uses the same approach as the “devuvuzelator” software developed by researchers at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary, University of London that we covered earlier this week. By filtering out specific frequencies the filter reduces the sound of the horn, without affecting the tone of the commentary. The filter can be turned on or off by right clicking on the viewing window and selecting the Vuvuzela Filter.
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Having installed the update and giving the filter a try I can say that, although it isn’t perfect, the filter does indeed succeed in significantly reducing the annoying swarm of bees noise on World Cup matches and make the commentary somewhat clearer. Some of the higher pitched (soprano vuvuzela?) sound beats the filter, but the lower pitched droning that dominates the unfiltered audio is handled much better. It also allows the crowd noise that is usually drowned out by the horns to be heard, adding to the energy of the broadcast.
The Vuvuzela Filter is a part of the EyeTV 3.4 Special Edition update from Elgato and will be available for for the duration of the World Cup. It will disappear in the next software update. A demonstration of the filter can be seen (and heard) here.