About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. Thank you.

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This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussion are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here are talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.

TERMINOLOGY

Tones/Semitones/Notes/Key
A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names.

Intonation
Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Larynx Position/High Larynx/Low Larynx/Neutral Larynx
The larynx is the part of the body where the vocal cords are located. The vocal cords are very small and are divided into two parts that vibrate against one another in order to create sound. The speed of the vibration generally determines the pitch someone sings in. Much like tuning a guitar, the more stretched the vocal cords are and thinner they become, the higher the pitch and the thicker they are, the lower the pitch is. In order for a note to be hit, one should have a relaxed opened sound in the larynx, without any restrictions from the throat muscles. If the larynx is pushed down, it creates a froggy and fake “soulful” tone, if it’s pulled up, it creates a thinner, squeezed and tight quality to the voice. The natural state of the larynx is being neutral when it’s relaxed, if it’s forced either up or down, that means the muscles in the throat are creating tension and the larynx is trying to reposition itself in an uncomfortable and unnatural position to hit notes that are not within the individual’s supported range. 

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

Vibrato
The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

Stability
The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Registers
Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

Support
How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound may still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Luna, is able to keep resonance consistently up until Eb5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship/Musicality
Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

Passaggi/Vocal Bridges
A passaggio or a vocal bridge is an area of the voice where one’s voices transition naturally from one to the other in the modal register. Usually for males, the distance between the first passaggio, from chest voice to mixed voice, and the second passaggio, from mixed voice to head voice, is only about a 4th apart, whereas for females it’s about an octave apart. Passaggi are important for one to be able to tell what someone’s voice type is. A register break or the highest note you can sing in your chest/mixed voice before transitioning into head voice is NOT your first passaggio. The first passaggio is a note in your range where your voice naturally feels a switch of muscle coordination in your vocal cords. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring a chest dominant or balanced mixed voice above your first or even second passaggio. Lyric tenors usually have their passaggi around D4/Eb4 and G4/Ab4, whereas lyric baritones have their passaggi at B3 and E4. Lyric sopranos are usually at F4/F#4 and F5/F#5.

Legato/Staccato
A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Agility
Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.

CRITERIA

Excellent Vocalist

  • All three registers are developed
  • Supported as close as possible from their highest to lowest extremities
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within C3 ~ E3 (or lower) and G5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Bb2 ~ D3 (or lower) and F5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within F#2 ~ A2 (or lower) and C5/C#5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within D2 ~ F#2 (or lower) and A4/Bb4 (or higher)
  • Within their Voice Type’s tessitura they are consistently resonant
  • Complete support in the middle register and lower register
  • For females head voice must be completely resonant at will; for males head voice must be completely supported
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks when transitions are being made
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual note, potentially very complex runs are done from the bottom to the top of their ranges
  • Musicianship the ability to change a song and make it their own and Musicality having complete control over the voice in any given genre
  • Almost perfect intonation
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Great 

  • Developed registers, but one register may be lacking in development
  • Optimal resonance is achieved on a regular basis
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F3/F#3 and F#5/G5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Eb3/E3 and E5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within A2/Bb2 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within F#2/G2 and G#4/A4
  • Support is present in all registers, but maybe not to their lowest and highest extremes
  • Within in their voice type’s tessitura they are resonant and well projected, but not as resonant and well projected as Excellent vocalist
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual notes
  • Great interpretation skills (Musicianship), but Musicality may not be as finely tuned as Excellent vocalist
  • Intonation is almost perfect
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Good 

  • One very well developed register or two well developed registers, with the others either being Average or Above Average
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance, and above
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F#3/G3 and E5/F5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within E3/F3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Bb2/B2/C3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G2/G#2 and F#4/G4
  • Optimal resonance often present, but is not always achieved
  • Within their vocal type’s tessitura they are resonant and supported, but tonality can be lost at times.
  • Connection between registers is not always present
  • Some agility, but runs and transitions are not always controlled
  • Interpretation skills are present, has show musicality
  • Good intonation rarely goes off
  • At times can lose tonality by rarely does

Competent 

  • One well developed or two/three somewhat developed register well balanced
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio and second passaggi with support and resonance
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within G#3/A3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within F#3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and G#4/A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G#2/A2 and E4/F4
  • Consistently supported within their supported range
  • Resonates at times, but optimal resonance is not a regular occurrence
  • Connection between the registers is not present
  • Intonation is not perfect, off-key moments happen at times
  • Good tonality isn’t always kept, strain and tension are apparent at times

Above Average

  • One somewhat developed register with the others being average or weak
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with consistent support and possible resonance up to their second passaggio
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G3 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within D3 and G4/G#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within Bb2/B2 and Eb4/E4
  • Inconsistent with resonance
  • Even in their supported range strain and tension can be present
  • Nasality can be present within the voice at times
  • Intonation issues can be frequent

Average

  • No register is developed considerably well
  • Able to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within Bb3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G#3 and A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Eb3 and F4/F#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and C#4/D4
  • Inconsistent with support, and if at all resonance, even if occasional resonance has happened
  • Good tonality is not present at all times, nasal placement is normally used
  • Frequent intonation issues

Weak

  • No developed registers
  • Unable to sing through their first passaggio with adequate and consistent support
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within B3 and G#4/A4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and F#4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within E3/F3 and Eb4/E4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C#3/D3 and B3/C4/C#4 (or less)
  • Very inconsistent with support, strain,no resonance
  • Good tonality is not present
  • Out off tune singing is frequent

FYI, Among KPOP idols there is NO ONE who is considered Excellent/Amazing/Fantastic vocal-wise (Imagine Maria Callas, Mariah Carey, Natalie Weiss and Whitney Houston as amazing/fantastic). They are Great/Good at best.

For further question you can ask the contributors directly at this forum

OneHallyu vocals’ thread

Regards,

Admin

FUTURE ANALYSES HERE

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

4,942 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

  1. I was wondering how can you produce an accurate analysis when a lot of material out there is autotuned. Besides lip-syncing that some groups do, shows like immortal songs autotune the singing for broadcast. I remember you say that you can’t judge anything off studio, but how can you judge off immortal songs?

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    1. I think a lot of people misunderstand the meaning of the term “autotune.” Usually it’s associated with a very robotic sound that’s added to singing to make it sound more accurate in pitch but obviously not natural.

      @1:09 in Hyunjoong’s line.

      Now that is very obvious and if it was to the point of this on Immortal Song, we wouldn’t use it. The point of not using studio audios is because most of the time, issues to do with consistency would be covered by the artist being able to do the take more than once, as many as it takes until they get it right, pitch wise and even with some added reverb to make them sound better. Live performances regardless of them altering the pitch to make sure it’s accurate still are live and they had one take/chance to do it. Yes Sketchbook tends to alter pitch, to make sure it’s correct most of the time. Immortal Song 2 does it here and there, not as often. There are still instances of artists going off pitch on Immortal Song 2 that I have heard. Now that’s ONLY pitch, pitch is only one portion of what we do. No amount of auto tune or altering pitch can mask issues with strain, tension, improper breathing technique, placement and whatnot. We use live performances because we can hear everything else even if pitch may be altered and we also everything else that’s live including King of Mask Singer, Sketchbook, Yesterday, Live Picnic, radio live performances. If issues with pitch are hidden on Immortal Song 2, they’re obvious elsewhere. Let me show you this:

      @1:25

      No amount of auto tune would have been able to hide the throatiness in that portion of the song, so even if she went off pitch and they fixed it for her, we would be able to hear the other issues in this performance. Pitch is important but it is not the only thing that’s consisting of a vocal analysis.

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      1. Sorry, I did mean pitch correction not cher-like autotuning haha. I was just wondering if an artist’s main problem is pitch, how can you figure it out if pitch correction is so commonplace supposing the artist doesn’t have as much problems with other aspects of singing such as support and tension? Just specifically for pitch. But, I think I understand. Basically even if one show may hide his or her issue, another show may reveal it?

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      2. Well like I said we don’t exclusively watch Immortal Song 2 for vocal analyses, we watch many different sources and different videos and if pitch is THAT big of an issue, it will be noticeable. I mean however if a vocalist has good support and lacks issues with tension, it is very unlikely they’ll have issues with pitch since proper support generally covers 90% of pitch issues so they shouldn’t even have it.

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  2. So from the analyses that have been made so far are the top 10 kpop idols female vocalists are : ailee>shannon>lee haeri(> younha/ not sure if she’s an idol)>luna>dia>taeyeon>u.ji>jimin>eunji>hyorin/raina? i think taeyeon is better than u.ji because of her mix and headvoice being slightly better then hers

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  3. my post about december never got through?
    what do you think about them? they’ve been around for quite some time. this is one of their latest performance:

    i think they did better here though(?):

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    1. Actually it did go through, I left them unapproved because I was busy and I didn’t want to forget to reply to them but since you reposted them as one comment only instead of two, I’ll just reply to this one instead.

      I’ll listen to the 2016 video first then:
      0:26 C#3 kind of whispered, lacks full employment of support. A bit nasal, a bit shallow in tone production. The way he sings reminds me a bit of Youngsaeng and Shinhwa, old school throaty singing. 0:58 G#4 to F#4, very tight and closed diction. 1:02 really throaty A4’s and G#4’s in this line, but the phrased F#4’s sound better and more relaxed. 1:20 same for him, F#4’s sound more relaxed and softer since he is going for a more falsetto like tone but when they use more power or go above F#4, I hear a lot of throatiness, especially from the guy on the left. 1:55 really closed, flat. 1:58 he’s a lot less forceful and throaty than the other guy but still sounds tight and his larynx sounds high when he sings above F#4. All I hear is nasality throughout as well, a lot of nasality in placement. 2:34 tight A4’s and everything above that with the C#5’s and whatnot. 2:47 tight G#5 falsetto as well. They have range which helps them perform ballads but they sing with very tight technique throughout their ranges and it’s really apparent from the shallowness in their support why they go for that. I’ll skip the second song and go skim through the other video.

      1:20 those G4’s, very much in his throat throughout. Very shallow, very throat-based singing for both of them on that G4 ~ Bb4 range, they’re very pushed when they sing and it’s very much all throat-based. There’s little to no support, I think I was aware of that because I know December I just don’t follow them, but I remember having a memory of their singing being like this or not being like anything above average. I noticed that in K-pop, a lot more weak male vocalists get away with singing without good technique than girls because girls usually sing in a comfortable Soprano range and weak tenors sing in a soprano range too many times, so people regard high as good whereas for girls powerful is good. So powerful usually equals a soprano who has slightly better understanding of support, so in ballad groups and duos, you’ll find more average sopranos than you’ll find average males. If you notice we have analyzed more average females than males because there are more average females and I’m not thinking they’d be average, either of them. Of course it’s just a pattern I noticed, many weak tenors get away with bad technique cause they strain high and people don’t seem to mind it as much as let’s say vocalists like Kara.

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  4. Is it possible for every untrained people vocally to become excellent vocalist with good long training? Like Taemin, who improved immensely, could he be in excellent level or that title only goes for naturally gifted singers like Mariah or SoHyang ? Can anybody be excellent without those initial talents ?

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    1. Being an Excellent vocalist does have something to do with having a natural talent for singing but without hard work, you won’t ever improve. In everything in life it’s 5% talent 95% hard work and that’s what’s most important. So yeah of course, if they practiced correctly and effectively, they could eventually become excellent vocalists. ^ ^

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      1. I like your reply ahmin. But i want to add something, since many people misunderstand this, as what ahmin said 5% talent and 95% hardwork, doesn’t mean ‘untalented’ one will only get maximum 95%, they just need 5% more to be 100%! unlike talented one that have 5% from the beginning. And I believe somehow talent is the result of unconscious ‘training’, just like a kid who love to draw bcs their parents is an artist so he often see them and unconsciously train himself by start making line and random object, so cheers on whatever you want to achive, just keep going! ^^ hope you get what i mean

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi ahmin, do you mind analyze this?

    She is indonesian rising singer. Her voice is so soft, i like it ^^
    What’s her voice type? What’s your opinion about her singing skill?

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    1. I’m sorry but due to us being too busy, we only watch videos that are relevant to vocalists we are going to analyze in the future. Since she’s not a K-pop singer, we won’t analyze her so it’s against our rules to analyze this video. I’m sorry.

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    2. She is a Light Lyric Soprano, with poor agility and low notes but connected head voice and decent musicianship. A bit above average maybe ? She’s on and off with healthy technique on 5th octave. I’d say she supported up to C#5 with belting. I am saying this because I listen to her songs everyday !

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  6. Hey I know you rarely take questions about non-kpop singers but i’m really curious about this and idk where to find information about this. is patti labelle as good as people turn her out to be? i’m really curious since i’ve seen alot of performances where she’s straining and i’m not sure anymore lol.. i’ll understand if you don’t answer this though because of your policy

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    1. From what we know, I believe Patti Labelle is pretty good, she does some ugly things stylistically but she does have pretty good technique in her mix. I don’t mind answering this question if I can answer it without watching a video. I think she’s got pretty good technique but I’m honestly not familiar with her enough to be sure.

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  7. Hi admin, I know you’re busy, so don’t rush to watch this.
    I would like to ask about Bestie’s Hyeyeon, could you analyze these videos? I think she can support properly but I don’t know how high or low she supports, and after watching this, would consider analyzing her? She’s been singing more lately.

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    1. 0:21 G#3 0:29 F#3 0:33 C#3 that was the lowest I heard in the performance. 0:55 A#3 She seems to lower her larynx around G#3 and below, she drops support and pushes the sound out of her throat and that happens with every note around G#3 and below, F#3 and C#3 especially. Bb3 sounds fine for her though, she seems more neutral in approach and supports better there. 1:40 her Bb4’s are a bit shallow but I hear support throughout her mid range below that, but she gets a bit throaty around Bb4 from what I’m noticing. Not too much. 2:05 see there’s just some tightness in her throat as she gets to that range and she stops using a deep enough sense of support. Her support isn’t very deep or strong throughout, but it’s there. 3:43 really thinned out airy mixed C#5’s. 3:57 B4’s sound a bit throaty for her. 4:16 her transitions lack smoothness and seem a bit …like she couldn’t mix anymore so she had to use falsetto without having it in mind beforehand. 4:48 lowered larynx G3 to a supported B3.

      0:07 she was sharp, her breathing could be better around 0:11 0:17 0:22 those breaths were really random and were not well matched with the song, they broke the smoothness of the phrasing/legato. 0:37 C#5’s throaty. 0:44 tense C5. 0:47 tight C5’s. She sounds similar to Secret’s Jieun to me, tone wise. Throughout she is not breathing very smoothly, she gets pretty tight and pushy around C5 and above, her falsetto transitions lack smoothness and are a bit pitchy.

      The reason why she wasn’t considered wasn’t because I thought she lacked skill, I just thought she lacked material. She reminds me of EXID’s Hyerin, they have similar skill levels and similar issues with lack of material. Both of them are from prominent groups but U.Ji and Solji get so much more exposure than them that even though they probably are not weak vocalists, they don’t have enough material to determine if they’re average or weak to average.

      Like

  8. I don’t know if you keep up with these comebacks, but:
    Personal choice, EXO’s Lotto or VIXX’s Fantasy?

    Can be because of performances, aesthetics, or the song itself. Honestly, I don’t care if it’s because you rate one main dancer a 9 in looks and the other a 9.1. Just wanted to hear someone else’s opinion while I lament the waste of Jongdae’s voice.

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      1. I totally get you if you just don’t want to watch it, but if you do then here it is. The uh… autotune, is a little heavy though.

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  9. Do you ever have trouble distinguishing a high larynx sound from a nasal sound. To me they both create that tight sound but I don’t want to say that someone who’s being really nasal is also straining. Like with Niel and Jungkook.

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      1. I know so I was asking if you ever had that problem because idk if it’s just me but does that nasal sound make the singer sound tight to you or at least to less trained people like me.

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    1. This should’ve been posted on Seohyun’s analysis. The note was F3 and it wasn’t bad, it had tone. This song isn’t vocally focused it doesn’t show anything new for Seohyun.

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  10. Hi Ahmin. I love reading your blog, learn a lot. So I want some clarifications on this performance by Ha Hyun Woo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhU1BVJyxZY

    I believe he did some vocal fry on some low notes and some chest moments. What do you think of his head voice? Around 2.46, those were C5s I believe. Any good? After that, I believe he sounded supported and resonant for the most part since he’s known to be able to support up to A4. Around 3.20, was it Bb4? And at 3.42, was it Eb5? E5? Any good? I think after that, he went for stylistic approach since I hear throatiness for the notes he can hit with good placement.

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    1. He does tend to push a lot of vocal fry as he descends in range and I’m still struggling to decide how much of it is part of his actual range and how much of it is just pure vocal fry. 2:46 I’ve heard worse C5’s from him, he didn’t sound so bad in that range. He tends to push and make his voice compressed when he goes above A4, but these had nice brightness even though I wouldn’t say they’re supported. 3:20 that sounds really tight, that Bb4. 3:42 the mixing isn’t bad, Eb5 is correct. It sounds very tight though. He went for some growling, but that’s not a big problem. It’s just his voice goes from full around A4 and below to really bright and tight above that, because of how he approaches that higher range.

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      1. Thanx ahmin. Btw, is the song Dust in the Wind a hard song to sing by a baritone? Are u familiar with that song? Whenever I try singing it, I always end up becoming tight at the second line of every verse. If I’m not wrong, that would be F4 or somewhere around that note, not really sure.

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      2. It’s somewhat soft and it’s supposed to stay in that range constantly, it’s not written for a baritone voice in that key. Singing it 3 or 4 half steps/semitones lower would be best.

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  11. How does one know if one is a baritone?

    And should baritones just give up on the K-pop dream since it’s all about the tenors?

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    1. Well it’s hard to know when you’re not trained but a baritone is easier to tell apart from a tenor than a mezzo from a soprano. A baritone usually speaks in the second octave and usually they start to feel they’re singing “high” around C4/C#4/D4, which is after their first passaggio and when they start to use their mixed voice. It’s rare for an untrained baritone to be able to strain above G4 and definitely not common for them to sing C5 naturally. However it’s possible. I wouldn’t tell a baritone to give up being a K-pop singer, but they’d need to think if being part of a group would work for them. Most baritones in K-pop are lead vocalists so they don’t sing as high as the tenor main vocalist, with some exceptions where they have better technique than the tenors in their groups like Hyunmin, Seungyoon and Hwanhee. Or sometimes they sing in a baritone range because their group’s music is limited in range generally like WINNER and BTS, or they become soloists like Roy Kim, John Park, Jung Joonyoung and so on.

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      1. “It’s rare for an untrained baritone to be able to strain above G4 and definitely not common for them to sing C5 naturally.” Do you mean it’s rare for an untrained baritone to be able to NOT strain above G4? Because I’m an untrained baritone and I can get up to G5, (not all that well lol,. but I can hit the note) and what do you mean by sing C5 naturally? As in w/o strain? Or in a head voice and not falsetto?

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      2. Ah ok gotch, thanks! I know you’ve said SHINee’s Key is a higher sitting baritone, what’s the highest you’ve heard him mix? I think I saw you say he could mix up to a D5? I Know he strains a lot but still

        Like

  12. Hello Ahmin ~ I’m curious about few things now..
    I’ve heard many supported C3s from females’ low notes. Buut I can’t say the same for men’s higher belts, where the support barely reach 5th octave.
    Is it possible for tenors to belt supported notes above C#5, idk llike E5 ?
    Is there any excellent male vocalist, the male version of sohyang in industry (inside and outside kpop) ? Why I do feel like most technical singers are usually females :O

    Like

    1. You’ve heard many C3’s supported by females? Who? I only know Jojo and Beyoncé, which is not many at all. Yes it is possible for tenors to support above C#5, they just..don’t. We don’t know of an excellent tenor in contemporary music although David Phelps is a possible.

      Like

  13. Are you guys familiar with Perrie Edwards from Little Mix?
    I absolutely love her voice. I’ve read it somewhere that she is a light lyric soprano and somewhere else that she is a spinto soprano…But after her tonsils surgery her voice became lighter…
    I know the question is not kpop related but I’m a fan of this blog and an optimistic person who is hoping for an answer🙂

    Like

  14. How much did Beyonce improved since she was in Destiny’s Child and what are some differences in her singing before and after? Was she at least at a “good” ranking back then in Destiny Child?

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    1. She isn’t a vocalist we’ve analyzed so I can’t say I know for sure, I’d estimate competent as her rating while being a member of Destiny’s Child but I don’t know for sure.

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      1. Oh I’m sorry i didn’t know who she was I was watching Raina but then she came up in my suggestions and I heard the name before. So she’s actually missing that many notes throughout the performance?

        Like

  15. hi, do you have any exercises or tips to help develop a connected head voice for males?? I cant seem to place my voice properly when accessing it. thanks🙂

    Like

  16. Hello Ahmin,
    I think I initially came when you were still creating the site cause there were no tabs lol.
    Anyway, I took your advice an tried to sing Everytime by Britney Spears. I don’t want to bother you again, but I was a little confused on how I was supposed to sing this song. I realized that I have two different voices, the second may be a falsetto? Anyway I recorded the song with both of the voices.
    I found my range severely limiited by singing in this voice. I can’t reach high notes at all.

    I can’t sing lower range with this, but it’s easy to sing high notes. Is this a falsetto?

    Like

    1. Let me check out what you’re doing. The first one you sound like you’re pretty much using your mixed voice/chest voice range for a good amount of the song, which can greatly limit your brightness in tone. You don’t seem to be pushing too much and since this song is in a pretty narrow range, I can see why you feel limited by this kind of singing. I also hear a lack of clear diction and a lot of nasality, caused by that lack of diction. Sorry I couldn’t reply sooner, let me take a listen to the other audio. Your timing is a lot better on the second one, I still hear the nasality. It sounds like a really narrow falsetto with nasal placement, your timing is still off, but your pitch is better. This is more of a falsetto, with some tongue tension. I need you to find a blend of the two, one where you’re not completely using just a heavy sound and where you’re not just using falsetto. This isn’t bad actually, this song helps you not push your voice and is a good way for you to sing for now, as you’re learning to relax.

      Like

  17. i know you guys are probably swamped and stuff and don’t prefer doing rookie idols without much material but can you go through some of the ioi girls pls? (im mainly looking for an analysis for pinky even though i assume she’s a bit weak)

    Like

    1. They won’t do a full analysis on anyone that debuted in 2015 or 2016. I’d imagine that you could have a little more luck if you link a specific performance, but lack of material is definitely a problem.

      Like

    2. When you say “go through”, what exactly do you mean? I think I can at least tell you the only girls in I.O.I. who I know have enough sense of support are Yeonjung and Sejeong. Apart from them, I don’t believe the other members have managed to grasp basic breath support. So they’d all be weak, aside from those two.

      Like

      1. Is Chungha supporting at all in this clip? I personally believe she’s the strongest vocally after Sejeong and Yeonjeong, but I suppose she may still be just weak.

        (Brace yourself, at 0:20 she shouts out that note and the other girls get loud too)

        Congrats on the new site… OMG my icon changed noooooooooooooo

        Like

      2. Wow, that was lightning fast! And woohoo, go Chungha!

        I know that we live in the same time zone, it’s kinda a weird time to be up isn’t it? I’m recovering from being sick, that’s my excuse lol… Sorry if I’m keeping you up

        Also I’m so spacey, my default info got removed and I put the wrong name down and it gave me a different icon. But I guess it changed it back after I posted… ah well, not important anyways…

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi…I was wondering is Bangtan Boys’ Jin would be added to the list in the future? I agree his voice is sort of tricky. Also, his vocal capabilities in BTS songs are not usually showcased. If he will be added, I suggest to look at BTS performing “Arirang,” and Jin’s covers of “I Love You,” and “Mom,”

    This is “Arirang.” If he won’t be added, I don’t mind. But can you tell me what range he’s in for this performance? (His part is short, so I understand if my questions can’t be accurately told) What sort of tone is he using?

    Like

    1. No, he won’t. It’s in the rules if you check our future analyses list. We only analyze the most skilled vocalists of a group and only half of the overall number of vocalists, so we analyzed 2/4 vocalists for BTS, the two most skilled ones. Considering their second most skilled vocalist is a weak vocalist, you can definitely guess what Jin’s final rating would be considering he is BTS’ least developed vocalist overall. What do you mean what sort of tone?

      Like

      1. That’s what I thought they were average or A to AA one of them I think. Anyway this question is short but Mamamoo has pushed resonance from C5 and higher but lower than that even though their resonance isn’t pushed so obviously they’re not pushing but it’s still overly chesty. I was reading Gunwoo’s analysis and he uses a chesty mix but still doesn’t push the higher he goes is that because he lightens his mix as he goes higher or another reason. I want to know to know if it’s okay to use a chest dominant mix as long as you lighten your mix to the point where you don’t have to yell to sing higher.

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      2. A chesty mix is just heavy but not necessarily pushed if it’s not too loud or compressed with air pressure. If you lighten up, your mix becomes less chesty and more balanced by definition though.

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      3. Oh and btw I hit an Eb2 it stooped down to a C#2 for a quick second but it went back up to D2 for a while actually but my chest was vibrating too much lol and it felt uncomfortable so after like 10 seconds I gave up. If you want I can send it to you because now my range would be D2-A4 and I doubt it because I’m untrained.

        Like

  19. Do you think you’ll not make Zhang Liyin or J-Min analysis? Bcs i think eventhough they’re doing K-Pop but mainly their not for K-Pop Liyin for C-Pop and J-Min for J-Pop

    Like

    1. Zhang Liyin more than likely not because she is not a kpop idol and rarely ever sings in Korean, J-Min has some Korean releases so maybe. Matheus might analyze Liyin because she’s on his list

      Liked by 1 person

  20. base on this criteria, how would you rate current US-UK artist, like Beyonce, Florence and the Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, or Adele or even Ariana Grande? It seems that Korea has more competent vocalists than the US.

    Like

    1. Florence, no idea. Kelly Clarkson, not sure, maybe good? Maybe below that. Demi Lovato? Average or Average to Above Average? Same for Ariana. Adele, maybe average at most? Beyoncé, Excellent. Don’t take these ratings to heart since some of them may be wrong.

      Like

      1. It is no surprise that you don’t know Florence, since she is the least popular among the vocalists. Anyway, she catches my attention with her ridiculous long notes and her head voice. I find some very good performances of her, would you mind telling me what you think of her in general. I’m not sure these are the best live performances.

        This is her vocal range:

        This is her longest note:

        Do you know what type of vocal she is?

        It seem irrelevant to ask this in a kpopvocalanalysis, but I’m just curious about this woman. Anyway, if you don’t want to answer, just ignore.

        Like

      2. I only answer these kinds of questions if I already have previous knowledge on the vocalist you’re asking about. If it requires me to watch videos that would take away time from an actual vocalist we’re going to analyze in this blog, then it’s against our rules to answer the question. So I’m sorry but I just don’t have time to watch her videos but I believe from what I’ve heard of her that she’s a mezzo.

        Like

      3. I honestly thought Florence would be average. I think she’s a mezzo but she strains above A4 and her vibrato sounds strange to me, but I may be wrong so ignore me lol

        Like

  21. Hey again^^.
    So, I decided to cover Park Hyoshin’s Wild Flower. Of course, I lowered the key considerably (I would never even attempt a C5…) and this song shows my lower range, which I think is the most developed register of mine. I could regularly hit a D#2.
    http://vocaroo.com/i/s0XJkU3B0rAu

    The higg note isn’t really good but I’m still working on it. I think I’ve gotten C4/C#4 down though. And the runs are pretty sloppy, I had to sing this quite a few times so I was a bit tired.

    Like

    1. 0:20 you went too high and that was off key. You’re singing in a VERY low key, so it’s harder to control your voice and maintain support. Careful with how much nasality you have in your voice, you’re pushing your sound forward into your nose too much for the lower. 1:09 flat. I wouldn’t sing this song as a beginner because it’s a challenging song, it requires really good breath support and even in this key, it has a lot of dynamics and changes in key. You’re pushing your low notes a bit too much, make it a bit lighter, a bit more in your mouth, it’s too heavily placed in your chest. You have nice moments in your mid-range for this song. 2:33 ish sharp. 2:45 you’re still doing the aspirating and pushing air too much in your higher notes, 3:03 ~ 3:07 especially here. 3:14 you went off key, that is too high. If you were to stay in the right key, you should’ve stayed on Gs, not As. Your big high note was an E4 and it was very throaty, which again was off key considering that you started singing this in a key that starts as low as F2. His key goes down to Eb3, so your big high note should’ve been D4. I think this is too low for you to control your sense of key when singing acapella and this song is too challenging to sing acapella if you don’t have key centers settled in your voice well. You didn’t do a bad job considering everything, this was pleasant in many moments but it’s too challenging of a song for a beginner to be singing and too many things could go wrong, so I’d really suggest you singing a less challenging song though I’m very happy you picked a ballad that would work on your low notes and would work on your breath intake. If you could do me a favor, I’d like for you to do a five note scale on the Ee Aye Ah Oh Oo vowels, C D E F G F E D C so Ee C to C, Aye C to C, Ah C to F, Oh G down to D and the last note should be C again and it should be Oo. I don’t know how much you know about keyboard and keys, but I’d like for you to sing this all in one breath, mid volume and keep raising the key and then back down. So that you can work on breath management and not pushing your voice.

      Like

    1. She’s not a contemporary vocalist so no opinions on her aside from…I don’t like her head voice above Bb5, it gets really shrill.

      Like

    1. Ikr I wish I could do something about the tag lol I’ll copy-paste the answer. No I’m glad someone has asked about it.

      “Your words are too general and too specific are random times. I guess it might have to do with the time stamps not matching exactly where I’m hearing problems and words being too general like “airy” for 0:18 mhmm right it is airy at 0:16, but what else is there to talk about? Yes lacking on projection and small, but what about support? Support is basic, focus on that first. Are they supporting or not? That should be your first hint for everything. 0:45? I’d say even at 0:40. 1:02 strain well yes there’s tension but it’s no different than the rest of the line he sang, so explain the quality of how he was singing. Yes nasal for both but they’re not the same, 0:45 Inpyo and 1:02 Sunghwan, they have different issues. Both are nasal yes, but Inpyo is a lot tighter and pushes much more, Sunghwan sounds flat and more closed in his nose, his voice doesn’t project as much and he’s less loud, much headier, a lot more shallow. 0:36 I heard some throatiness, but I wouldn’t call it a high larynx.

      1:25 He’s not that airy throughout, be specific about where he loses projection specifically to what note in his range. 1:40 yes 1:47 more so than high larynx, he is using his throat a lot more than the first two guys, he’s nasal as well but projects less through his nose, he has less legato going on and he is pushing much harder from his throat than Sunghwan and with a lot less brightness than Inpyo, which may be because he might have a lower voice. 2:01 there’s no pushing, he sounds thin and weak, he can’t push actually. 2:05 just closed, small..he sounds like Youngsaeng of SS501. 2:19 Don’t forget to mention his vibrato, it’s very wobbly. His support is very shaky so he isn’t connecting through the line well at all.

      2:41 this is the loudest Sunghwan sang in this whole performance. lol Now he’s throaty, yes. 2:52 very closed diction on the Aye vowel. Overall in general. 2:57 this is too high for Hwayoung.

      So mhmm I mean you got the gist of it but tbh I’d be a lot briefer if I had analyzed this. I mean you see there were a lot of details to mention about issues with their technique, which I just mentioned, but I’d address such things on individual analyses in case I did analyze them all individually. However from the get go, at least for 4/5 of these guys I’d have started with “lack of support” and that’d have knocked down all the issues with tension because quite honestly at least 4 of them are weak vocalists. None of them support well, especially not Sunghwan, Doha and Yoentae. I can see how Inpyo may be confusing though, to an extent. At least in the lower parts, but from the get go you can hear little to no support in almost every line the other 3 sang and Inpyo throughout the choruses.”

      In short, none of these guys have good technique, at all.

      Like

      1. I wish you guys could do something about that tag since it was always your ‘secret weapon’ that made everybody wanted to read the whole analysis carefully lol. Thanks for the quick analysis 🙂 It’s my friend who insists that i have to analyze this but i’m sure i’m not capable enough to do it.
        Anyway, how do you think unique tone and ‘diva tone’ works? I feel like traditional people in my country tend to like singers/vocalists with a ‘diva tone’ (full-lyric, heavy, many vibratos), and the judges often give unpleasant result to me in most competition only because of my tone.
        In Kpop, most fans prefer unique tone than diva tone and technique lol. But recently, i feel like i’m someone similar to Luna, whom get most comments such as: she has a good technique, but i don’t like her voice😦

        Like

      2. I think unique tone is completely subjective. I believe personally that every vocalist has an unique tone and unique voice, it’s just about bringing it out with your own personality. Technique does not take away from emotion, nor uniqueness. If anything, it gives the vocalist more emotion to work with. If people don’t like your voice, there’s nothing you can do. It’s their personal opinion, but you can still improve yourself to sing better regardless. It’s hard to please everyone.

        Like

  22. I’m not asking about Britney’s singing or so on but i just wanna know if that’s a nice/accurate/sloppy run around 0:49? And could it be also a run in 0:45? I’m amazed tho for this carpool karaoke. But if you don’t want to, it’s not a problem tho

    Like

    1. I’m not Ahmin but there wasn’t a run at 0:45 I don’t think so? That run at 0:49 sounds like she went off key at the end and it wasn’t smooth but it’s hard to tell with him singing with her. I’m 90% sure Brtiney can’t support properly so I don’t think she would have good runs

      Like

    2. I hope Ahmin wouldn’t get upset at me answering but this is a video of runs since the first one you pointed out wasn’t a run.

      (Don’t mind me and my d.o spam lol )

      Like

      1. Yeah, i know Britney is like a weak singer, and yeah i think almost everybody know what she likes to do lol I kinda know a run, but i’m a bit questioning around 0:45ish but yeah 0:49 is a run. Because i don’t believe it’s a vibrato or it could be(?) i dunno lol. But thx before😄

        Like

  23. Dear . I know that this isn’t about Kpop but I’m quite curious about Britney’s voice. I think that she is faking her voice into the childish and nasal one we know today in order to make it unique and recognizable . That childish voice can be copied by everyone, i supposed, as Ariana and Christina and even me have successfully done it without any difficulties. However it is never a proper technique as it lacks power, resonance and could leave us breathless (this explained why Britney barely sing live) . Is that possible? Because how could her dark, deep voice which is always on pitch during her 16 turn into that childish and nasal one in just one year?. I’m not sure how much damage is caused to her voice but it is possible that this is not her true voice and she actually sings better than we thought, isn’t it?
    Thank you

    Like

    1. Bad vocal habits lead to regression and improper use of the voice. She got used to singing like this, so her muscles became “flabby.” She was able to sing better before, but now I think it’s just how she sings all the time.

      Like

  24. In what ways do you think his vocals have improved? Was he nasal in the before performance? It sounded like he could support back then but I’m not sure of that either…

    Like

    1. Wow it’s amazing how much he improved, he sounds like two different people. Not only is it attributed to his voice maturing a lot, but also him fixing issues with support, nasality, closed diction, pitch and such. He was really narrow on his vowels, he sounded whiny and he used a very non chesty sound. He was nervous and pitchy, he even sang the song in a lower key. He improved a lot.

      Like

    1. She peaked at G#6. Yay more range for her! I didn’t feel she was engaging enough support in the fifth octave and her placement wasn’t focused enough.

      Like

  25. Hi Ahmin! Do you know Jonalyn Viray, known as the best technical filipina vocalist yet. What rating would you give to her based on your criteria? I know that she is better than anyone else in our country like Jonalyn>>Lea>Charice>Regine

    Wow! Revamped icons. Grats!🙂

    Like

      1. Is it Charice the one ever come to Korea and suet with Kyuhyun also Celine Dion? Haruko ever told that she’s (he’s) at best above average. Regine ever wrote here at best competent. i don’t know the other 2.

        Like

  26. Hi guys! I have some questions to ask but before that can I just say that I’m very thankful for the existence of this website, because it helps me a lot to have a better understanding of kpop vocalists & vocal technique in general. It also made my eyes open to some vocalists that I thought was bad while in reality they are actually good & vice versa. Because I love SM artists, I personally enjoy your analysis of SM vocalists so much.
    To note, I really lack of musical knowledge so pardon if my questions seems stupid & silly.
    First, do someone’s natural tone affect their singing capabilities? Like if a tenor has a naturally high-pitched & light voice does that mean he can singing in higher range easily theoritically? Or vice versa, a tenor with deep & heavy tone would make him easily singing in lower range than high range?
    Second, can you please describe each of EXO’s members voice’s tone & characteristic?(like light, deep, soft, raspy, clean & etc) & do you believe Chanyeol is the only baritone in the group?
    & last, what’s actually the difference between american pop & kpop? I mean it’s clearly sounded different besides the language but idk what’s the exact reason so I guess you have a better knowledge about this.
    I’m sorry if I’m asking too much but I really look up to your answer! But I don’t mind if you don’t answer one of thosw due to rules or being busy.

    Like

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! We really appreciate it. Well yes and no. A natural tone is also partially taught, some people who sing with a lighter tone also have naturally trained themselves to use more of a heady approach to their singing/speaking voices, so they have more ease mixing higher. Someone who uses more chest may have issues and they may be perceived as less “light.” So yes, but it’s not necessarily a “natural” thing.
      Oh no, not at all. Kai, Sehun and Chanyeol are baritones. Xiumin, Chen, D.O., Baekhyun, Lay and Suho are tenors. I am not sure I can describe their voices, that’d require me to know what all of them sound like and sometimes I am not sure what Sehun sounds like singing since he usually doesn’t sing.
      What do you mean the difference between kpop and american pop exactly? Like in what way? There are multiple ways to answer this question, so I’m not sure.

      Like

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