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The audio experts at Fraunhofer develop a Vuvuzela filter

Just in time for today’s match of the German National team Fraunhofer IDMT presents its new Vuvuzela filter plugin. With it the TV broadcast of the 2010 World Cup now makes soccer a real pleasure.
The symbol of soccer in South Africa - the Vuvuzela. The noisy cultural asset is in the meantime a cause for thought around the world. With more than 130 decibels the horns cause so much noise that viewers and broadcasters as well as the soccer-players themselves are annoyed.

Attempts are currently being made to silence the “swarm of wasps” sound of the Vuvuzelas with the help of various filtering techniques. Unfortunately, this also tends to impair the speech intelligibility of the sports commentators. The Vuvuzela filter of the Ilmenau Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology prevents this loss of quality and provides a “Vuvuzelas-free” football experience.

Christian Dittmar, head of the Semantic Music Technologies Group at the Fraunhofer IDMT explains how it works, "First, a model for the typical frequency spectra of the Vuvuzelas is computed. This involves relaying a few seconds of the stadium atmosphere into a software program. The continuous noise is then subsequently removed from the spectral range, while the voice of the commentator remains. “Since a very quiet stadium at times also sounds scarily, one can also freely adjust the settings that regulate how loud the cheers and the chanting of the crowd should be heard.

The Fraunhofer Vuvuzela filter can be downloaded as a plugin under .

Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau conducts applied research in the field of digital media and works on leading projects and topics in the field of audio visual applications.
Besides sound solutions for home- and professional users (e.g. IOSONO® Wave Field Synthesis technology) software technologies for analysis and characterization of multimedia content as well as audio-visual applications for medical engineering are being developed. Furthermore interactive AV applications for entertainment and knowledge management and the design of architectures for digital online-distribution are in the institute’s research focus.

The Fraunhofer IDMT realizes innovative scientific results through prototypes and applicable solutions which come up to customer and market requirements in close cooperation with partners in economy, culture and science.

Since 2008, Fraunhofer IDMT has two new branch labs. The department Children’s Media, based in Erfurt, works on the development of innovative computer based program and edutainment formats for children and adolescents. The new project group Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology, based in Oldenburg, researches topics of audio system technology concerning the fields of health, transportation, multimedia and telecommunication.

Julia Edling | Fraunhofer-Institut
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