German sound engineer claims to have found ‘anti-Vuvuzela filter’

June 15th, 2010 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 15 (ANI): A sound engineer based in Munich, Germany, has claimed to have devised a hi-tech antidote to the popular Vuvuzela, the deafening plastic trumpets, which have attracted complaints from viewers and players alike at this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

According to The Telegraph, the anti-Vuvuzela filter is the brainchild of Clemence Schlieweis, 29, a recording and mixing engineer from Munich in Germany.

He sampled Vuvuzelas from an early World Cup match and created an “inverse” sound wave with the same amplitude as the original, but with the peaks and troughs of the wave reversed.

If the MP3 music file is played on a computer placed near television speakers during a game, Schlieweis claims that the two sounds will effectively cancel each other out.

“I used it to watch Germany play Australia on Sunday evening and it was perfect. I only launched the website that morning but I’ve already had dozens of orders,” he said.

For just 2.45 pounds, armchair fans can download a 45-minute audio clip that purports to cancel out the ear-splitting din of the traditional South African stadium horns during televised matches.

The “anti-Vuvuzela filter” is based on a technique called active noise control, which is widely used in the music industry to erase unwanted buzz on records.

While acoustic experts expressed scepticism that the method could silence a cacophony of Vuvuzelas, the download has already proved popular with fans desperate to enjoy World Cup matches in peace.

The South African organising committee yesterday dismissed suggestions that it would ban the instruments from future matches, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisting that they reflected Africa’s “different rhythm, a different sound”

And any British football fans hoping that they would never hear a Vuvuzela again after the tournament final on July 11 may be disappointed.

Supermarkets reported selling tens of thousands of the horns over the weekend, leading to speculation that they could become a common sound at Premier League matches next season.

Meanwhile, scientists said the noise cancelling theory behind the filter was sound, but cautioned that it may not prove effective in practice.

Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustics at the University of Salford, said: “I can’t see how it could work. The Vuvuzela chorus may come across as a single sound on television, but it is actually hundreds of instruments being blown at different times. Active noise control depends on lining up the two sound waves exactly, and that seems physically impossible in this case.”

He added: “My advice is to football fans is to be Zen about it; accept vuvuzelas as part of the World Cup sound scape and pour another beer.” (ANI)

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