News In Brief

World Cup: Noise filter could help cancel out vuvuzela sound

Melissa Kaplan Jun 15, 2010

The buzz created by critics wanting to ban the vuvuzela from the World Cup has been almost as loud the 130-decibel din that’s been deafening fans (that’s 30 decibels louder than a chainsaw, for those of you keeping track). But Clemence Schlieweis, a 29-year-old German sound engineer, has come up with another solution for those watching the games from home: for just £2.45 (or $3.61), you can download a 45-minute audio clip of an inverse vuvuzela sound wave which he says successfully cancels out the noise.

Although the noise-cancellation technique Schlieweis used is . . . sound, critics argue that in order for the noise control to work, the same sound wave would have to be used to cancel out the first. Schlieweis’s audio clip was taken from earlier vuvuzela samples and can’t be a perfect cancellation match for every vuvuzela horn (or several).

Other potential opponents of the noise filter: vuvuzela makers and sellers. The vuvuzela industry is worth £4.4million ($6.45 million) in South Africa and Europe.

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