Vuvuzela noise filter app for Mac OS X

Vuvuzela

The vuvuzelas are certainly the most controversial theme of the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa. With a loudness of up to 120 db(A) and thousands of them used during the world cup games, they sound like a a swarm of monster wasps. It does not only make it nearly impossible for the soccer players to communicate acoustically on the playing field but does also annoy many fans who want to enjoy the world cup all over the world through television.

Tobias Herre has posted some German instructions to filter the annoying sound using a 4-band equalizer of the professional audio editing software Logic Express. Daniel Imrich used the same trick to make a vuvuzela filter for the audio software GarageBand.

If you have neither of those audio applications or you don’t want to have a full blown audio editing software running all the time, all hope is not lost. I have made a little application which will filter the vuvuzela noise using the same 4-band equalizer technique used by Tobias and Daniel.

To use it on your Mac, you have to install Soundflower, a free and easy to use Mac OS X system extension that allows applications to pass audio to other applications. Just download the Soundflower disk image, open it and follow the steps of the installer.

The next step is to change the default sound system preferences. Set the output to “Soundflower (2ch)” and the input to “Soundflower (2ch)”.

Sound output system preferences

Sound input system preferences

Sound input system preferences

You won’t here any audio for now as all output is routed to Soundflower.

After that, download my small VuvuzelaFilter application.

VuvuzelaFilter

Open the downloaded VuvuzelaFilter.app and make sure that the input device is set to “Soundflower (2ch)” and the output device is set to “Built-In Output”. Activate the “Filter Vuvuzelas” checkmark to enable the vuvuzelas filter. You can now enjoy the football world cup games without the noise of the vuvuzelas.

Vuvuzela Day

Update:

Thank you very much for all your kind feedback. I decided to share the code with you, so that some of you can hopefully extend this little application. You can download the source code from github: http://github.com/uibi/VuvuzelaFilter If you change something, make sure to fork it on github or let me otherwise know of your changes so that everyone can benefit from it.

I have created a new version of the app which should work on 10.4 and PowerPC. (Please try it out, I could not actually test it.) I have also fixed a bug which could lead to a crash. Maybe it works now for you guys who had problems before. Download the new VuvuzelaFilter.

If you still have crashes, look into /Users/username/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/VuvuzelaFilter*.crash and please paste them on pastie.org and tell me the pastie URL in the comments.

33 comments

  1. crashes when I mark the checkbox. I did everything as you stated. Running EyeTv. The output of EyeTV is also set to soundflower.

    I can send you the crashLog via Emal if you want.

  2. Hey Marek,
    thank you for your feedback. I’m using equinux TheTube which works without problems for me. I have written you an email to get your crashLog.
    Regards,
    Albert.

  3. Doesn’t work for me. I hava a Macbookpro. input comes from a digital Sat reciever (analog). Sound Configurations show that Input is recognized (if I click on line- in input Device). If i follow your Instructions there is no Output and no Input.
    Does it work with digital Input? I tried it with same result. Doesn’t work.

  4. Hi Albert, I get the same problem as Marek when using EyeTV 3.4. I can email you a crashLog too if you need it.

  5. Hi Albert!

    After analyzing the frequencies in the sound spectra I’ve updated the frequencies of the GarageBand filter. It’s still not perfect, but it makes watching the matches somewhat less noisy ;-)

    By the way, I like your app!

  6. Hey Albert,

    Thanks for the initiative! My setup is also crashing, though – I’m just trying to feed my MacBook Pro (Leopard) with the output from my TV set, and filter it through your app. No success, so far… The app will keep “trying” for a while, and then crash. Any tips?

    Thanks,
    Rubens

  7. This is perhaps the best thing ever created. I was thinking about doing the same. THANKS.

  8. Vielen Dank für Deine Arbeit, aber ich hab noch 10.4 (PPC). Deine Applikation funktioniert daher nicht. :(

    Thanks for your workk, but I’ve still 10.4 (PPC). Your app is not working for me :(

  9. Hi,

    I have Mac OS 10.4.11 – your vuvuzela filter program doesn’t work on my system – any chance you can modify it?

    Simon

  10. Hi,

    würdest du den quellcode rausrücken?
    ich möchte mit den filtern experimentieren.

    danke.

    k.

  11. Hi,

    could you please release the sources, so that PPC people could join the fun? Apart from that, thumbs up and thanks!

    countzero

  12. I’ve managed to get this working with EyeTV. If I just load up EyeTV and the app, then the app will crash. If I have something playing (like tv streaming from the web) and have the filter running, and then load EyeTV it doesn’t crash. (Remember to set the eyetv output in preferences to soundflower).

  13. Thank you for all your feedback! I have updated the app to work with both PPC and 10.4, fixed a crash and published the source. I hope you like it!

  14. Hey Albert, thanks for fixing the crash and publishing the source! :D

    Marek, have a look at my earlier comment, maybe that will help as a temporary fix.

  15. Great idea, thank, but no luck yet; Crashes regardless of whether Soundflower is running or not, and regardless of whether EyeTV running or not :(

    http://pastie.org/1008301

    Enjoy the World Cup (Germany is sooo much better than Denmark this time)

  16. Just to make things clear: I support neither PowerPC nor 10.4 as I don’t have the environment to test this. I have just compiled the app for ppc and 10.4 so that other people can try if it might work form them.
    I have published to source code so other developers can adapt the code to work with ppc and 10.4 without crashes.

  17. Unlimited Sound Sources There is no limit to the number of sound sources you can have in an Instrument.

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