Audiences appreciate the realness and rawness of TikTok. At the same time, the bar keeps getting higher in terms of production quality. It’s common to come across impeccably-produced, well-edited videos like you’d see on YouTube.
Videos that have higher video and audio quality tend to perform better. That’s why TikTok’s top creators tend to look and sound great.
People are there for the creativity, to see rare talent, and for laughs. But when the production component is on point the message is delivered with clarity and it’s simply effortless to take in.
Sound Quality is Key
Improving your audio is one of the simplest changes you can make as a TikTok creator to stand out.
A study led by researchers from the University of Southern California and Australian National University found that speakers with high-quality audio were perceived as smarter and more likable than speakers with low-quality audio. Additionally, audiences perceived the content as more significant and enjoyed the experience more when the audio was good.
Smartphone cameras are generally excellent on any flagship or mid-range phone. The tiny built-in microphones in phones are another story. Unless you’re speaking into the phone’s mic from the sweet spot, the audio lacks definition.
It’s generally better to use an external mic to create content whenever possible. It’s understood that most TikTok creators want to make spontaneous short videos. Luckily, there’s a mic for every application that won’t get in the way of your creativity. Whether you reach for a wireless lavalier or a podcasting mic, you’re rewarded for delivering clear, easy-to-understand audio to your audience.
Equipment vs. Technique
Sometimes it’s not about the gear. It’s about using your ears to get the best sound.
When it comes to creating TikToks, the mic you choose is actually more important than technique. That’s because you need to factor in how your mic position looks on camera, and there isn’t a lot of time to tweak audio in post-production when it comes to social media.
It’s far more effective to reach for a mic that gets you 90% there in terms of the look and sound you want.
Now, let’s look at the different types of mics available and when you should consider using them.
It’s Okay to Use Your Phone’s Internal Mic… Sometimes
Your phone’s internal mic has its uses, and in some situations, it’s actually the best option despite its shortcomings in sound quality.
A phone’s internal mic excels at capturing everything in your environment. Its flexibility wins out here.
Consider filming a video at a party. The music is loud and people are yelling from all corners of the room. In terms of documenting the audio, it’s complete chaos. However, your phone’s mic is omnidirectional so it will capture a surprising amount of sounds in the environment with decent balance. You’re giving your audience a glimpse of the crowd, the place, and capturing the mood. And it isn’t critical for people to understand what’s being said.
If you create voiceovers for your TikToks, the internal mic is a decent option. Hold your phone a couple of inches further than you would when talking on the phone. This will make your voice sound less boomy and balanced in terms of high and low frequencies. This is the sweet spot for creating quick voiceovers that are clear and easy-to-understand.
Wireless Lavaliers Give You a Superpower
The last thing your audience wants to see in a skit or impromptu video is a mic. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the internal mic on your phone.
Lavaliers have been used on TV for ages, and more recently wireless lavaliers have been taking the social media world by storm. Once you start experimenting with wireless lavaliers, the creative possibilities of your TikTok videos open up. You’ll be able to walk around freely and explore your surroundings on camera while your speech remains clear and separate from the noise in your environment.
Using a lavalier in a public setting can make the difference between being easy to understand and having to rely on captions in post-production.
Podcasting Mics Are Perfect When You’re Stationary
A lot of people underestimate the potential of using podcasting mics when recording TikToks with their phone. All you need to do to move it from the desktop world into the mobile world is get an adapter. You’ll either need a USB to USB-C adapter or a USB to Lightning adapter, depending on which iPhone or Android model you use.
Podcasting mics are convenient since you don’t need to put an audio interface between your mic and your device to sound professional. It will get you very close to that polished radio personality sound we all love.
Bigger mics tend to have bigger condenser capsules inside. That translates into meaty mid-range and low-end frequencies. To complement that, you can take advantage of the proximity effect. When you speak close to the mic, you get a pleasing bass boost.
Audio Post-Production Tips in CapCut
CapCut is a must-have app for TikTok creators. Not only is it a surprisingly feature-rich editor, but it makes adding enhancements so much faster.
The first features to master are the built-in equalizers and audio filters. Minor adjustments can add a lot of clarity to speech. Generally, cutting the low-mid frequencies gets rid of muddiness.
Experiment with these settings, and determine the frequencies that most commonly need a boost or a cut with your setup, whether it’s the bass, mid-range, or treble.
Next, you’ll want to get accustomed to using the background noise reduction feature. Inevitably, noises such as the fridge or AC unit can be more noticeable in videos than we anticipated. CapCut allows you to reduce or eliminate hums, hisses, and ambient sounds.
Growing your following on TikTok requires gaining longer watch times. It can be tricky to determine what will stop people in their tracks and keep their attention. However, when your audio is clear and easy to decipher, you’ve picked low-hanging fruit.
A lavalier, a wireless lavalier, or a USB podcasting mic such as Blue’s Yeti are some of the best tools to have in your arsenal. Post-processing your audio helps, but ultimately when good sound goes in, it also comes out. Focus on capturing great audio at the source and your videos will gain a distinct advantage.