Audition Tutorial: Vox Pop

The “vox pop” format in audio and video refers to vox populi, or “voice of the people.” This refers to segments when a number of people give quick responses to the same question, and those responses are played quickly in sequence to represent a variety of opinions. It is also known in broadcasting as “the man on the street” format, because it’s often done by going to a public place and asking passersby to give their opinion on a current issue.

In this tutorial you will record several short interviews and edit the responses together into a vox pop segment. The following video shows the basic process, but note that your process will differ depending on how you record your interviews and what type of responses you received.

1. Using a computer, smartphone or other audio recording device, record yourself asking one of the following questions:

  • What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • If you could meet any person from history, who would it be?
  • What global issue concerns you the most?
  • What do you think communication technology will be like 20 years from now?

2. Ask at least three people your selected question and record their answers using a smartphone, computer or other recording device. You can interview people you know, but make sure there is distinct variation in their voices so a listener will easily be able to tell the interviews apart. It is strongly recommended that you interview at least four people in case one of the recordings doesn’t work correctly.

3. On your computer, create a folder for this tutorial and make sure your recordings are all together in the same place.

4. Open a new multitrack file in Audition and save the project in your tutorial folder. Add your recordings and place each recording on its own track, with the recording of yourself asking the question at the top.

5. Use the tools you used in previous tutorials to trim each recording to only a short clip of the interviewee’s response. (Aim to have each clip 3-10 seconds.) Use the “mute” option on the left side of each track to listen through only one track at a time. Within each response, use the razor tool to edit out unnecessary pauses and filler words like “um” and “ah” so each response sounds smooth.

Note: Don’t get so overzealous about editing out pauses that the responses no longer sound natural!

6. Arrange the responses on your timeline so the question is followed by the three (or more) responses. The pacing should sound natural, with only brief pauses between each response and a consistent rhythm.

7. Download the sound effect files called chime1.wav and chime2.wav if you have not already done so. These are both sound effects from and licensed under the Creative Commons 0 license, meaning they are free to use for all purposes without attribution.

  • Add both sound files to your Audition Project, then drag them to a new track.
  • Move chime1 to the beginning of your audio composition so a chime sounds before the recording of you asking the question. You may trim or fade the sound effect to improve the flow.
  • Move chime2 to the end of the audio composition to act as an ending tone. You will need to trim the file or chose a portion of it, then add a gradual fade out to end the piece.
  • Make sure both sound effects blend well with your other recordings by altering the volume and spacing if necessary. All parts should sound seamless.
  • 8. Export your completed multitrack mixdown as you did in the other two tutorials and save the .mp3 file to upload.