Vuvuzela Orchestra Demo from Pedro Espi-Sanchis on Vimeo.

It’s an extraordinary sporting event, one in which the spirits of the many nations of the planet come together, driven by a passion for one thing.

No, not football. Notch filtering, apparently. It’s not very often geeky audio matters cross onto the mainstream radar, but such has been the case in the divisive case of South Africa’s beloved vuvuzela horns. Yesterday, I used the whole thing as a teachable moment for learning Linux audio routing, but since then, my inbox has been bursting at the seams.

Along the way, we learn more about the instrument, how to play it, we meditate to the sound of its drones in an electronic remix, and (at top) even hear an orchestra of the things.

Here’s what you may have missed.

A meditative vuvuzela serenade:

First, let’s consider the beautiful, otherworldly sound of a swarm of vuvuzelas, droning. That’s what composer Alec Vance did, and the results are, frankly, gorgeous. Remember how yesterday I was talking about mindfulness? Who needs chanting monks when you’ve got this sound:


More on a post on his blog, though it may be a bit painful if you’re an England fan:
Vuvuzela! (USA Wins 1-1 vs England)

More, more, more vuvuzela:
How to play the vuvuzela and get a good sound [The Guardian] for 24/7 Vuvuzela radio, because you just can’t get enough of the sound

But wait — there’s more. So. Much. More.

Analysis and coverage

Boing Boing covers the physics of the sound and why it’s annoying:
Acoustic engineer explains why vuvuzelas are annoying

Isophonics explains what’s happening in the sound spectrum, and provides their own plug-in:
What’s all this about the vuvuzela?

The Beeb talks vuvuzela controversy:
BBC receives 545 vuvuzela complaints over World Cup [BBC News]
Can you block out the blare of vuvuzelas? [BBC News Magazine]

Ars Technica has a good round-up: Enjoy a vuvuzela-free World Cup, thanks to technology

Effects developer giant Waves has the most hard-core solution, developed in conjunction with an unidentified “major broadcaster.” It’ll cost you, though, over three grand US$. (Of course, it’ll also work with more than just the World Cup.)

Filtering solutions, an entire website devoted to the topic

Pocket Lint on filtering on your TV, plus a EUR2.95 filtering sound

Samsung TV: EQ using on-screen controls

Windows/Mac Ableton Live set

Mac LADSPA (works with Audio Hijack Pro), Linux LADSPA, Windows VST: Free Isophonics plug-ins [compiled plug-ins at the bottom of their how-to]

Mac, AU: Free Prosoniq VuvuX filtering plug-in [sonicWORX]

Mac, AU Free Isophonics plug-in [direct download link]

Mac, AU / GarageBand: How to filter Vuvuzelas using GarageBand

Mac how-to and links in Italian; cross-platform VLC tutorial in Italian

Mac, Logic: Vuvuzela-Filter how-to, in German

Mac/Windows, TDM + native: Waves has a “pro” solution that it developed “in conjunction with a major television broadcaster,” which works in conjunction with Pro Tools, Waves MultiRack, and Cubase. Of course, this being Waves, unlike every other solution listed here, it costs a load of money (to the tune of US$2900 for the noise suppressor and $300 for the parametric EQ), requires a dongle, and could get you sued if a sting operation catches you pirating it. Sorry, Waves, I couldn’t resist. You were an open target. A bit like a UK goalpost. BOOM! (okay, I’ll stop, before I get hatemail from Waves Audio AND the nation of England)
Waves Introduces Vuvuzela Noise Reduction

Mac, Soundflower + free app Vuvuzela noise filter app for Mac OS X [Albert Feller]

Mac, Soundflower + your TV: Mikkel writes in comments:

On Mac, I used SoundFlower in combination with AU Lab (comes with Apple Developer Tools, eg XCode).
You have to make an aggregated device containing the SF input and the Default System Output. Then route your tv-sound to the SF Output.
In AU Lab, you can make a new document with the aggregated device. Then double-click on the audio output and select Stream 2 in the Output Settings. You should now hear the tv-sound coming through. Then you can insert whatever effects on the input track. I used some of Apple’s AUParametricEq with frequencies 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hz from the article, and it did seem to help.
I used a test video from youtube:

Mac: Lifehacker covers one of the Mac tutorials

Mac, Windows, PreSonus Voodoo One gets its own file

Windows, Winamp [German] Vuvuzela Filter Kostenlos!

Windows, Reaper: Vuvuzela Filter Windows

Windows, entirely using free (as in beer) software: Vuvuzela audio filter using (free) Windows software

Windows, VLC [German]: Vuvuzela Filter für VLC

Windows, Mac, Linux in a free Pd patch: [Kim Cascone]

Windows, Mac, Linux – another free Pd patch, this one with copious blog documentation, too: [Ricardo Lameiro]

And, of course, previously on CDM, Fedora and Ubuntu instructions:
Filter The Vuvuzela Horn Out of the World Cup; Learn JACK Routing on Linux

Okay, does anyone have time left to actually watch the games?

  • Am the only one who wants a vuvuzela vsti?

  • Edward


    re: Am the only one who wants a vuvuzela vsti?

    From the amount of comments on this thread, I think the answer is yes.

  • a

    Finally bought a vuvuzela today. Komplete 5 up on eBay tomorrow!

  • I'm waiting out for vuvuzella hero:

    one lane.
    note on.
    that's it.

  • Axel
  • @Axel: HA! Who did that work of genius?

  • Axel: LOL.

    found another one.

    the gameplay is non-realistic, though.

  • Christopher Penrose

    Now if everyone could only put their heads together to filter out the commentary so we could hear the roar of the crowds and the din of the vuvuzela in peace.

  • Bafana Bafana – go boys!!!!

    I'm South African and love the vuvu! We started a Burning Man event in South Africa, and even had a Camp Vuvuzela. (

    Though…I can imagine that hundreds of thousands of vuvu's for an entire month can get a bit…much ;)So I probably should shut my mouth as I enjoy peace and quiet here in San Francisco (wink)

    Last week nobody knew what a Vuvuzela was. Now the plastic quasi-trumpet's famous! Fun word to say, innit 😉

  • Diegotz

    Let's enjoy them this month, then we'll hardly hear them again… This is LaMonte Young dream coming true!

  • I actually hear the difference ESPN and Univision had definitely filtered them out in their broadcasts. They also enhanced they color commentary so it stands out more.

  • Vuvuzela drone didn't stop Uruguay from bringing SA down… I know now why drone music never found an audience in this country..

  • They have been around at sporting events in the U.S. for decades. American spectators just aren't, sadly, as inclined to blow into them constantly in majority numbers.

  • Cille

    "my inbox has been bursting with the scenes"

    just wondering if this is some pun that's gone over my head, or did you mean to write "bursting at the seams"

  • ha…cille beat me to it

  • @Cille: no, you probably just couldn't make out what I was saying over the drone of the vuvuzelas. 😉

  • what a list! 🙂

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  • Stepwriterun

    I hear that the vuvu is full of techno.

  • Damon

    It is all I can do to NOT spend all day thinking only about vuvuzelas.

  • I hate those vuvuzelas during the WK soccer matches, but I have to admit that the Vuvuzela Orchestra sound rather nice and pleasing. Why can't they all sound like that…

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  • I and my friend wrote a small Windows App (MuteVuvuzela) that filters the Vuvuzelas noise. Of course it can be used with a TV or DVD.