How to Make TikTok Duets of Musical Performances (2)

Part 2 – Responding to other’s Videos as a Duet (Guest)

Continued from Part 1 – Creating a Video for Duets as Host

In my brief experience with TikTok, responding to videos created by others presents a different procedure from creating the original video. First, you’ll find videos you’d like to duet with. Then you’ll tell TikTok to start creating your duet version. From here, you turn on the mic, capture the video, label it and finally post it.

Finding Videos to Duet With

A creator doesn’t have to label a video “duet this”; they simply have to allow duets for the video in the app. And you can duet with anything under that condition – the original video does not have to contain music. But, a video deliberately labeled “duet this” is probably better set up for a duet – with parts where the creator left space for a guest to jump in and maybe even provided text-based direction to follow.

I’ve begun my search for host videos intended for duets by searching on the phrase “duet this” or the hashtag #duetthis. I found those first results a bit random (and a little thrilling when I found a compatible potential duet). I got more precise results looking for a song title or artist from my repertoire and the phrase “duet this.”

Searching for “wonderwall duet this” brought me this result by singer/guitarist Henry Honkonen.

@henryhonkonen C’mon, it’s Wonderwall, you HAVE to duet #foryou #singing #duet #viral #wonderwall ♬ original sound – Henry Honkonen

I like to use the Favorite button when I find a good potential duet video and want to make my part of the duet later. It’s also possible to categorize your favorites, so a “potential duets” category is useful.

Preparing the Duet

Before starting the duet, watch the video a few times. Get a feel for whether there are directions and what you’d like to do creatively with your part. Rehearse it a time or two.

Then, tap the Share button and then tap Duet.

To start a duet in TikTok, click the Share button and select Duet.

Note: If the Duet button is not present, the creator has not allowed duets for the current video.

Tips for Duet Capture Quality

Since you and the original duet artist will appear side-by-side, try to frame yourself proportionally to your host.

Also, it is vital that you use headphones. If the original sound plays through the phone’s speaker, the sound will bleed heavily into the phone’s microphone, creating an unwanted echo and a muddy background track. I prefer to use headphones without their own mic, as I tend to overload a headset mic with my loud voice. So, I use studio headphones for this.

Since my one Lighting port (iPhone 11) is taken up with my headset (with a Lightning adapter) I use the iPhone’s built-in mic for my part of an existing duet. I’m considering a Lightning splitter adapter, but would rather not end up with a convoluted network of multiple adapters.

Recording Your Part of the Duet

Don’t forget the Mic button! 🎤🤣

Once you’ve started the duet, you’ll need to turn your mic on in the app. On my first several duets I went straight to the record button and came up with silence on my end to show for it! Once you’ve turned the mic on, you can press Record and perform your part of the duet.

Tap the Mic button before you record. When finished recording, tap Volume and lower the Original sound (your mic level).

As soon as you’re done recording, proceed immediately to the Volume button! I’ve always found my recorded part to excessively loud!

Now, here’s where things can get a little confusing.

TikTok calls the part you just added the Original Sound and the host’s original part the Added Sound. There is a consistent reason for this. When you capture videos, what comes in through your mic is always considered the original sound. Any other tracks mixed with that are considered the added sound.

Anyway, you’ll need to turn the Original Sound down to a very low setting so you can actually hear both the host’s part and your part of the duet. This is where you get to do some sound mixing. Make sure both parts are recognizable.

Once you’re satisfied with the levels, create a large text label with the title of the track and, if you like, the word Duet. Remember, you’ll want this to appear on the thumbnail image so people who find the video will know what it is and want to watch.

Here’s the duet I created with Henry.

@jasondidner #duet with @Henry Honkonen #foryou Thanks Henry for creating this cool #DuetThis version of #Wonderwall by #Oasis ♬ original sound – Henry Honkonen

A Note about Camera Mirror-Image

By default, TIkTok captures your mirror image. Never before have I seen so many lefty guitarists since the advent of video capture from smartphones! If your T-shirt or banner have backwards writing because of this, you’ll need to invert the video image to project professionalism.

For me, this is only an issue when I’m the guest in a duet, because when I originate the video, I capture through my phone’s built-in camera app. When guesting, I must use the Inverted effect, which is a bit off the beaten path.

Note: When you find the Inverted effect, you can add it to Favorites to eliminate having to type to search for it in the future.

Before recording, tap Effects, search for Inverted and select it. Then tap the screen to counter TikTok’s mirror-image default.

Before capturing, tap the Effects button (to the left of the record button). Search for Inverted. Select the Inverted effect.

Then, tap your half of the screen, so your image is no longer mirrored. Instead, you will see what the camera actually sees. If you play guitar righty, you’ll look like a righty.

Important: The Inverted effect is only applied after you select the effect and then tap your image on the screen, which toggles the effect on/off.

Let me know how your duets are coming out!

Use the comments below to tell me about your progress with TikTok duets! You can also leave your handle and I’ll check out your videos. Have fun!