RTE, Ireland’s state broadcaster, has lodged an official complaint with FIFA over the deafening noise created by traditional South African stadium air-horns, known as vuvuzelas, which are reportedly driving irate viewers around the world furious.
The small horn has already provoked the ire of commentators and viewers alike around the world. ESPN commentators have already lashed out at the three foot horn, with World Cup sports duo Mike and Mike lambasting the “trumpet looking horns” on their commentary and comparing the experience of hearing the horns as being attacked by a swarm of locusts for “90 consecutive minutes”.
RTE sound engineers have been hard at work looking for solutions to minimize the infuriating sound of the horns on the broadcasts.
A sound engineer at the station explained the logistical problems of eliminating the noise, which is naturally included in the broadcast audio, but a Dublin City University engineering lecturer is making in-roads: "I was with my colleagues over lunch and we got talking about the vuvuzelas," said Sean Marlow of the University’s Engineering Department.
“The type of work we do at the school of engineering here includes noise reduction, so I tried to find some information about the horns to see what I could do. I downloaded the noise of the vuvuzela from the internet and figured out the frequency. Then it was just a matter of putting it through a computer application -- many can be downloaded for free from the internet -and immediately the noise can be reduced without losing out on the commentary."
The sound engineer has offered his idea to RTE but says that he hasn’t heard back from the broadcaster yet on whether or not they’re going to use it.
Surprisingly the traditional horns are selling like hotcakes in stores in Cork and Dublin.