Kim SoHyang Vocal Analysis

sohyang

Vocal Range

Eb3 ~ A6 (3 octaves and 3 notes)

Lower register may extended down to D3.

Supported Range

G#3/A3-F6 (Including head voice)

G#3/A3-C6 (Not including head voice)

 Tessitura

Eb5/E5-F6

Vocal Type

Full Lyric Soprano

Strengths

Due to her extremely well trained middle register and vocal endurance she is able to consistently belt with resonance and power in the upper 5th octave (E5-B5), this skill has been very much well showcased all throughout her career. She also has a very connected voice she is able to flawlessly transition between chest to head voice and head voice to chest with no noticeable breaks or cracks. She has the ability to do complex vocal lines without losing tonality and without losing speed. Because of superior breath control she is able to do complex vocal lines in one breath and sustain notes for very long lengths of time. Sohyang also can maintain a consistent column of sound and can sing with an even scale with no drops of support in the A3-F6 range, she is also one of the very few Sopranos who can stay within the Soprano range without vocal effort truly one of the best vocalist in Asia.

Weaknesses

Compared to the rest her voice, her lower register is underdeveloped and lower notes can be unsupported.

Registers

Lower Register: Not well supported/quiet  below G#3/A3 lower notes can sometimes be lost due to the airiness of them.

Middle Register: Extremely consistent and amazing ease. 99.99% of the time supported. The Ring is almost always achieved in the A4-B5 range and resonance up to C6. Able to hold out notes in the upper fifth octave for long lengths of time and able to due to vocal runs in the upper fifth octave without losing resonance/tonality. Able to maintain dynamics in this register up to F#5/G5. Generally uses a balanced mix.

Head Voice: Well developed head voice that is connected with the rest of the voice. Very bright,full and vibrant able to maintain head resonance to F6.  Able to maintain/do dynamics in this register.

Overall Technique

Breath Control & Support: Amazing breath control and support. She is able to do vocal feats like Crescendo and Decrescendo with ease and complete resonance, able to stay in the upper fifth octave with ease and resonance no strain no pain. Dynamics are not a problem for her even in her upper extremes.Amazing transitions between head voice and chest. Superior control and support is sadly not carried down to her lower register as notes below G#/A3 can be not supported and just airy.

Resonance:  Very consistent resonance from all throughout the mixed register, having the best ring in the Eb5-G#5/A5 range.

Mixing: When she started Sohyang used a headier mix in the E5-B5 range, but throughout the years she has adjusted to use a balance mix all throughout her mid range. She can willingly change the amount of chest she uses in her mix to make weightier sounds, but normally just uses a balanced mix.

Tone Production: She sings with a risen palate 99.99% of the time, so no true nasality. Her voice is very creamy and womanly though maintains the brightness of a Soprano. Has excellent control of how she uses her voice adding more or less chest to her mix depending on what she wants to convey/on the song. Her head voice has an extremely bright, vibrant soprano like feel to it, she is able to change the intensity of her head voice( from solid to floaty) at will.

Intonation: Fairly consistent intonation really only have pitch issues when doing very intricate and complex runs, other than that extremely reliable.

Musicianship

Sohyang has amazing musicianship and control of how she uses her voice to fit the style(from a more rock like sound in My World, to a more family friendly sound in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas). Her musicianship though, which mainly includes very high belts, high vocal runs, transitions from head to chest is not meant for everyone though. Common complaints about her musicianship is that it is too overbearing or just “too much” and that her belting can take away from the music at times and emotion can be lost. Though there are times when her musicianship is less offensive to people and they can genuinely enjoy her singing.

Rating

Excellent vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: WestVoice

Video by: bxiaiao

Analysis done by: pandayeu

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1,022 thoughts on “Kim SoHyang Vocal Analysis

  1. Hi there, good afternoon

    Do you think her G#5 1:18 is supported?
    And her G#5 2:40 is strained?
    That video makes me so confused.

    Like

    1. Both of them weren’t produced well. Little bit of. Strain with a high larynx. Yeah this video did a lot of exaggerating, but it’s not wrong about the improvement.

      Like

  2. Hi Ahmin, I wanted to thank you for all of your effort and time that you guys put in to answear all the questions.
    So I had a few question
    1- I would like to know if in YOUR OPINION Sohyang supports F6 in her head voice ( I know that there has been controverseries about it) because honestly I dont have a good ear and when I compared her f6 to Lena Park’s f6 they both sounded same (as for the supported aspect) but I might be wrong since I suck at it
    2_ I would like to know her full supported range (: I mean how many octaves and notes she can support
    I was reading your commnents on IU’s three Octaves range video and you said that her full supported vocal range wouldnt be three octaves. Now as I said I am not good at differentiating notes but would it be
    #F4/G4- C6/#C6 for her mix range and lower chest about and octave and half
    and her head voice would be lets say from F5-F6 = an octave
    Two and half octave + b3-#g3 two notes
    so about two octave and seven notes ?
    Just againg I wanted to thank you guys . You are amazing

    Like

    1. Hi there dear!
      1. The thing is Pandayeu and I disagree about it. I hear a thin quality with pushing and perhaps a high larynx, Pandayeu hears more support than strain but we ultimately agreed that if it’s supported or not, one occasion where she supports F6 is not enough to prove consistency as there are basically no other examples of her going that high.
      2. You’ll find out once her analysis is re-written. ^ ^ But let’s see G#3 ~ G#4 one octave, to G#5, two octaves, Bb5, C6, D6, E6, that’s 2 octaves and 4 full notes. She’d need F6, F#6, G6 and G#6 to complete 3 octaves.

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      1. I just want to leave these 2 links here cause they include all F6 Sohyang has ever included (4 in total) so you guys can take another look at them if you didnt see them all yet.

        In this link you can find her first 3 F6, just skip forward till her F6’s start.

        And here you can find a studio F6 at the end. Im sorry for not including timestamps but my Connection is too weak right now to load the videos but you basically just have to go to the end of the video anyways.

        I hope I could help you guys a bit ^^. But G#3-E6 or G#3-F6 doesnt really matter anyways since her head voice is really developed either way 🙂

        Like

  3. Hey Ahmin! I want to know if SoHyang still considered excellent vocalist? Becasue as I read some comment on the internet that she’s actually often pitchy or not as perfect as we saw on video such as Immortal Song and so on.
    I found it my self that her KoMS performance somehow have unedited and edited version which when she hits the high notes have different quality, somehow a bit flat from both version of video (edit and unedited). But i dont have the link tho, i just heard it randomly from several video from YT of the same performance but you might have noticed it too. Lol

    Like

    1. Oh, second question and it’s subjective I thought. Do yourself enjoy So Hyang performances? Because I found it sometimes she oversung or her style doesn’t match with the song or even just some part of the song feels like do not need to be this certain way.
      For example, her Breathe performance on KoMS, the first part is fantastic, I feel the goosebumps, the message of the song is like delivered to my soul but the second part sound a bit excessive and I lost the feeling, is there any kind of way to analyse such thing or it’s just pure personal preference?

      Like

    2. She is not a perfect vocalist, there is no perfect vocalist. Sohyang usually has issues with pitch in runs or when she’s fatigued, she’s not generally a pitchy vocalist. That’s the only drawback, why don’t we wait for her analysis to be re-written? ^ ^
      As for your second question, I enjoy some of her vocal performances like Arirang Alone and Bridge Over Troubled Water, I love those two but some other performances aren’t really my cup of tea. It’s just generally personal preference, cause actually Breathe is also one of my favorite performances from her, I quite liked it.

      Like

    3. There is only one edited version of Breathe where they changed her mix G5 to a F#5 because she cracked on the G5. She got Fluid therapy at that time but she was not pitchy.
      And her lows to G#3 have gotten fuller and her mid belts too and agility got a little better too so I an pretty sure she is still considered excellent because I wanna see a vocalist who is that consistent while having immense health problems. No Offense though

      Like

      1. thanks for all the reply and explanation. Glad to hear that ^^
        Im really fan of her now, not to mention that through this blog now i got the understanding about vocal pedagogy and able to respect people that trully are skillful singer like So Hyang, etc.

        Speaking about low notes, you’ve mentioned that “Compared to the rest her voice, her lower register is underdeveloped”. How low she need to able to support to say that she has well balanced all the register?

        Like

  4. Hi! I just finished re-watching IAS2. Would like to ask about Sohyang’s perf in It’s Only My World the rock song. How did she change her voice to a much thicker one? Did she do it by lowering her larynx? But it doesn’t sound unnatural to me..

    Like

  5. Hi Ahmin3, two quick questions.
    1. Both Sohyang and Ailee have performed the song “Everyone” on different occasions and received rave plaudits for their vocals. Putting aside tone and emotive ability (which can be very subjective to the listener), which of these two performances did you find to be more impressive, purely from a vocal/technical standpoint?
    2. Ailee has been widely considered to be the most accomplished vocalist after Sohyang. Do you envisage her reaching Sohyang’s level in the future if she minimizes her inconsistencies. If not, why?

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. From a technical point of view, Sohyang sang that song better or…with more challenging technique? But subjective speaking, I prefer Ailee’s version of that song specifically. Ailee could only improve if she changes her vocal habits, which would mean she would have to be aware of her own technical flaws in order to fix them. It’s really guess-work, I can’t predict the future.

      Like

  6. Can you tell your opinion on this vocal battle between Sohyang and Rachelle Ferrel. Most of Rachelle stans claimed that she beats Sohyang in every way (she has spendid head voice support up to 7th octave, she is a master of mix voice). Is that true that Rachelle is that good. In the mix voice and head voice section, which note is the highest Rachelle can support ?? Sorry, if it’s not revelant, but I think it has to do with the concept of support in singing. Thanks
    Here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uowQi3StbZk

    Like

    1. Thats mentioned in her analysis isn’t it? We don’t really use that term anymore, so there’s really no need to worry about it. But essentially the “ring” is optimal resonance.

      Like

  7. Hi admins, I’ve always been curious about the difference between having a big (loud/powerful) voice and actually producing resonance. We all know Sohyang is well konwon for her resonance, but could you kindly take a quick look at these two Asian singers and advise if they actually produce resonance or are they just hitting high notes with minimal support?

    Jess Lee (3.44-3.52)

    Gloria Tang (4.29-4.40)

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. 3:52 that F#5 is thinned out and sung with a high larynx, that’s not resonant. I wouldn’t say either of these vocalists can or is producing resonance, but Jess Lee is a lot more opened and using much better support in the lower part of her belting range than Gloria was, who sounds more muffled by throat and tongue tension and pushing. People get confused with loud high notes thinking that’s what resonance sounds like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. well, there is another video comparing Della and G.E.M. I personally think Della might be better than G.E.M(Gloria Tang)?
        http://www.bilibili.com/video/av13353722/
        Am I hearing that right?
        from 04:11 on both of them show some very high falsetto and head voice moments, just want to know anyone shows true whistle note or all of them are just falsetto and head voice?
        Thanks!

        Like

      2. I really would appreciate it if you didn’t ask about non-kpop vocalists, as it is our rule not to answer video question unrelated to vocalists we will never analyze. G.E.M. and Della are not K-pop, we will never analyze them, so I’m not really comfortable analyzing them or saying someone is better than someone else. The only reason I answered is I’m okay answering if your question is more technical and it has time stamps. 4:11 is a falsetto, not a whistle. Up to F#6, they both just used falsetto. Neither of them have a whistle and I heard some of the mixed voice battle, neither of them support C5 or higher, in this video.

        Like

  8. Hi, Admins
    I just wonder when this analysis is gonna be updated to a newer one. The future analyses list says within 2017 only, so bit wondering ..!

    Thanks,

    Like

  9. Sorry I realised I had posted my Sohyang questions on the wrong page:( Here’s the text in full.

    Hi admins, Sohyang recently performed some of her beloved KoMS songs live, and though overall I thought she did a great job with her renditions, I have a few questions regarding her performances in general.

    Breathe
    1. 0.17-0.31/1.10-1.15 – Were her low notes in these sequences well supported, or just flat?
    2. 3.08-3.54 – Was she able to sustain resonance throughout this sequence, or were there parts where she may have strained?
    3. 4.40-4.42 – Did she manage to support her G5?

    Home
    4. 1.42-1.45 – Did she execute her head voice well here?
    5. 3.08-3.17 – Is her head voice well-resonated in this sequence?
    6. 4.32-5.02 – Personally I thought she did a sensational job in this final sequence, but is there mild strain or push in her high note at 4.53-4.54

    Hug Me
    7. 0.44-1.07/2.26-2.36 – Her low notes in both sequences sounded airy and unsupported. Could it be due to vocal fatigue or an underdeveloped lower register?
    8. 3.29-3.44 – Was her high belt here well-supported throughout, or were there parts where she strained or pushed?

    Much thanks and have a nice day!

    Like

    1. First Video
      1. she’s not singing flat, she’s singing a note that’s higher, but still fits with the chord structure.
      2. That all sounds supported and resonant to me
      3. That G5 sounds supported and resonant to me

      Second Video
      1. Yeah she switched into her head voice pretty flawlessly in my opinion supported and everything.
      2. It’s a very soft dynamic, very controlled I would say resonant.
      3. It didn’t sound like she was straining or pushing to me. Maybe a bit of push I guess, but strain no.

      Third Video
      1. There’s support there, but it isn’t like extremely strong I believe she’s singing in the lower part of her lower range and I also feel she is going for more of an airy effect.
      2. I don’t believe she was straining but she definitely went for more of steely and metallic tone quality.

      Like

      1. It was lighter than usual, due perhaps to fatigue, but that doesn’t mean it was absent of resonance. Also it was not flat.

        Like

  10. Hi guys, I just wonder whether in 2:59 is falsetto or head voice. I think they are both head voice because they sound supported and quite resonant. Thank you, guys!

    Like

      1. That’s it? Okay. Oh so it was you who commented, I see. I didn’t realize it was the same person. We’ve acknowledge that 소향’s pitch isn’t perfect, but one note isn’t a big enough problem when she’s got so many other qualities. This analysis needs to be rewritten to reflect the level of analyzing we currently have.

        Like

  11. Is she still being rated Excellent when this analysis is re-analyze? Many people are worried about her health recently. Even she said many times on King of mask singers that she used to think about giving up singing because her health become worse and worse recently.

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  12. Save for the rare occasion where she has sounded fatigued (probably due to overused vocal cords), I still think Sohyang’s live performances (esp. in KOMS) have been exemplary in general. Looking forward to her rewritten analysis though:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. her cords arent overused but her immune system is very weak due to her cancer treatment she had with 20 and the medicine she is taking now

      Like

  13. Her G#3’s at 00:15 are supported right?

    So far she has supported every G#3 in 2017 as far as I know and even a few G3’s. Do you think her consistent supported range should be updated to G#3-E6??

    Like

      1. Oh yes I listened to it again and the instrumentals at the G#3 at 00:19 kind of confused ne because it kind of overlaps with her voice but glad to hear that she supported those ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi admins, what do you think of Sohyang’s latest performance of Fate? Specifically, how did she do for the complex runs at 0.24-0.31 and 1.27-1.33, and did she sustain resonance for her G#5 at 0.38? Thanks!

    Like

    1. 0:24 ~ 0:31, those weren’t complex runs. They were kind of slow, but not bad. 0:46 that was a more complex run and it wasn’t executed very well, she was sliding a lot here. The G#5 was resonant yes. 1:27 ~ 1:33 it’s a run she’s used to, it was nice.

      Like

  15. Adding a couple of performances from the start of September. Might help as highlights/examples for the re-analysis later down the line, since they are very recent and she was performing pretty good imo.

    Btw..I think that “Hug me” is a pretty special song to her. She seems to always She sing her heart out and bring herself to tears while doing it. This was a much more powerful performance than in KoMS imo, and I am willing to guess from the the KoMS video that she also teared up in that performance too.

    Like

  16. Hi ahmin and pandayeu, if both of you had the opportunity to meet Sohyang in person and had a private conversation with her, what three MOST pertinent pieces of advice would you give her in terms of vocal technique or habits?

    Like

    1. Three pieces of advice?
      1. Because her pitch seems to be an overwhelming issue for some people, I would mention that to her.
      2.Have more commitment to her chest voice and not approach everything so lightly
      3. Rest. She tends to perform a lot when she’s not feeling well of is sick, so yeah. Just be mode mindful of her own health.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks pandayeu. Just a few points of clarification.
    1. By “overwhelming pitch”, do you mean her overpowering tone, or on/off pitch issues?
    2. By “approaching everything so lightly”, are you suggesting she tends to be heady in her mix and that she should use her chest voice more? But isn’t this more to do with stylistic choice rather than her overall vocal technique in general?

    Like

    1. Pandayeu said “because her pitch seems to be an overwhelming issue for everyone.” He did not say “overwhelming pitch.” What he means is that a lot of people seem to be really hard on her for her going off pitch despite being our highest rated vocalist, so he said “since people seem to consider it such a big issue, might as well mention it too hard.” Also yes, he’s suggesting she should approach her lower range with more chest voice to develop that muscle better.

      Like

      1. That’s nice to hear 😀 I hope I will hear her live at some point too. Is her voice different from recordings than live?

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  18. Hi ahmin, at 4.41 Sohyang hits G5 in her rendition of “Breathe” but there seems to be a slight variation from her normally clean voice, would you characterize that as a “growl” by stylistic choice or an unintentional voice crack? Thanks.

    Like

  19. That’s what I initially thought, considering it sounded quite different from the TV released version, but since the rest of the audio was fine, I surmised that this could have been the unedited vocal recording. Funnily enough, I actually prefer the “crack”/”growl” version as it adds another layer of emotion, but that’s just my personal preference:)

    Like

    1. Soyhang has shown in the past that she can manipulate her voice to add rasp/metallic timbre overtones, and fit the genre she is singing better.

      In this instance though, I think the result was unintended. Remember, she was in pretty bad health during the majority of her KoMS performances (even admitting so live on TV in one of the episodes she won, and thanking her family for bearing with her due to her illness).

      Like

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