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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885 thoughts on “Kim SoHyang Vocal Analysis

  1. Hi Ahmin3. I tried to analyze this performance because a certain Charice-tard has been pissing off me of greatly. Can you check if it is accurate?

    Charice is singing with tongue tension and nasal, as usual. Her high note at 2:23 is closed and shrilled.

    Sohyang struggles with low notes because she sucks at is, yes. More than that, she also struggled with the diction, which explained the tension she had as she sings her lines. The fact that she grew up in a non-English speaking community explained it. Try singing Korean vowels and realized that the struggle was real.

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    1. wow, “she sucks at it” – If you want to critique someone, do so in a respectable manner! Especially for such an amazing vocalist like SoHyang, who’s on her own level. Even the guy who actually did her analysis pointed out her weakness in a respectable manner. Admin, I encourage you to please delete such an immature comment!!!!!!

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      1. If the user simply apologizes and rephrases what they said, I’m okay with it because even though the way they phrased their critique wasn’t the most delicate, they had no ill intentions and were just speaking casually. I shall give them the benefit of the doubt because the comment in itself was argumentative and raised fair points.

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  2. Hello, sorry to bother you guys with a stupid question, but other than when doing runs, does Sohyang have pitch issues? I was reading youtube comments (I know, bad idea) and there’s this person saying that she gets pitchy often. I’m not asking you so I can start a fight or anything, I just got curious and I think you guys are rather unbiased so I wanted to know.
    Sorry to bother you, again, and thank you for all your hard work.

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    1. I dont think she’s pitchy to an extent of it being a technical issue. Everyone can go slightly flat or sharp but she’s only really pitchy with runs. I disagree with said person.

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      1. That’s what I wanted to know, if it was a technical issue, ’cause she’s only human so I know she’s not going to be perfect all the time. Thank you for your reply!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Kai said that she was the only one who can win the King now and she didn’t show anything at the round 1, but it seemed that nobody trusted him. I can’t wait to see how Sohyang slays them all next week

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      2. Kai (one of the panelists) said, people may think she showed almost all of what she can do, but actually it’s only tip of the nail of her full capabilities

        Because it was still 1st round which is preliminary round, she just sang slightly better than her competitor (on purpose, only to win that round)
        So no high notes above C5 IMO, mostly only on 4th octave

        The real war begin on 2nd round, and I believe she will show legendary performance on 3rd round

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    1. Yess I can’t wait for another week, I wish I could time travel to next week lol

      I predict the final round would be a war of high notes here and there, because potential contender of her maybe Romantic Punch Bae In Hyuk, which could hit notes around G5 at least (I don’t know if it is supported or resonance or not)

      But I agree that she will slay everyone and become the Queen 😀

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  3. Guys is So Hyang analysis on progress, if so please hold So Hyang update for a while 😀

    Yesterday she appeared on King of Mask Singer, and I wish next week she will become the new King, and stay there for at least 2 months

    If that’s the case there will be couple of new performances of her as materials to be considered on her analysis update

    cc : Ahmin, Pandayeu

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  4. Hey admins! Just curious to know, does Felicia Ricci have a similar mixing technique as Sohyang? As someone who doesn’t really have a trained ear, I find it hard to notice when other singers are actually using some head voice in their mix voice belts (in other words, they mostly sound quite chesty or just yelled to me) but when I listen to Sohyang, I find it very much obvious that she uses a balanced mix of head and chest, plus she sounds quite powerful without sounding like she’s trying so hard to hit high notes. When I listened to a certain video with Felicia Ricci singing, I felt the way she mixes is pretty similar to Sohyang. Here’s the clip in question:

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      1. No I dont really want to know her rating just if she has enough support resonance etc.. because she mixes similar to Sohyang which means atleast basics down to me

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    1. That user was talking really big without having the ears for it. It wasn’t strained to me, but it sounded like she was tired.

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  5. Hi, since she sometimes has troubles with more complex runs, shouldn’t that be included in her weaknesses as well?
    Thank you!

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  6. Hi
    Her recorded highest note (without HV) to date with support is C#6, but what do you think (personal opinion) the highest note she could hit with her mixed voice? (ofc without support and even strained/pushing)

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  7. Hi ahmin3, may I know what notes they are in 2:02, 3:00, 3:07, 3:45, 3:49 & 4:18, respectively? I can tell they are in the 5th octave but I’m not sure with the exact notes, tq in advance.

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      1. In regard to your reply to the previous comment, isn’t it uncommon for Sopranos to mix an Eb6? Or is it something achievable with much practice?

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      2. It really depends on each singer. Not everybody has the same voice truthfully speaking. Even though theoretically all sopranos should have similar ranges if they have the same voice type, in contemporary singing with the implementation of the mixed voice, people have very different degrees of mixing. I mean Ariana Grande can’t support C5 consistently but can mix B5. Yeonjung can’t support above B4, but can mix C6. Taeyeon can support D5, but hasn’t mixed above G#5. Haeri can support F#5, but starts to get cracky around G5. So everyone is different, so yes a soprano who can mix Eb6 is uncommon.

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      1. Btw, I heard that Son Seung Yeon became a spinto soprano iinstead of full lyric soprano as she used to be. Is that true ? And does her supported range extend to G#5 instead of F#5 ? Thank u !

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      2. If that were so, we would have altered her analysis. So no, it’s not true. Who’s spreading these lies?

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      3. Some members in a vocal analysis group on facebook conclude that Son Seung Yeon became a true spinto soprano. Just like you, I think she’s still a full lyric soprano but I don’t know how to prove it @@

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  8. I am eagerly waiting for the update to this analysis. You guys are gonna have so much material now that she’s on King of Mask singer lol, a new song every 2 weeks for who knows how long. Her latest performance “Do you know” is really impressive! 2 modulations

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  9. Who amongst the current idols (3rd gen K-pop groups/soloists), do you think will be the first to reach Sohyang’s level? I reckon I’ll place my bets on Chen and Ailee

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      1. heyy come on xDD *pretends to not be butthurt* but thanks for being honest though 🙂

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      2. I mean honestly even looking at the first or perhaps even some of the second generation of idols, nobody is even close yet. The highest rated idols are Ailee and Kyuhyun, the highest rated ex-idols are lower than or equal to them so like.. I honestly don’t know.

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      3. nahh, I get where you’re coming from. Like, the difference is fairly obvious when you listen to them. I’m a rather mischevious person, so I was just being a little cheeky in my previous comment hehe xDD Listening to sohyang’s heavenly vocals makes me ashamed to even open my mouth whenever I try to learn proper technique lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. awwwww you’re so nice, thank you ^___^ I have been learning a lot about singing and technique from your blog and videos, so thank you for your time and effort in making them. They’re very useful for a beginner like myself 😀 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. So since Sohyang is the only korean contemporary vocalist that has an execellent rating compared to western vocalist like Streisand, Whitney, Mariah. Does that mean that western vocalist in general are better than korean vocalist?

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    1. they come from different period of time, you know. those western singers are from the 20th century. nowadays they pretty equal, western and korean

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    2. I wouldn’t call that a very accurate statement. Mainly because we don’t have access to a lot of contemporary vocalist and Korean mainstream vocalists are just as good if not better than American vocalists. Also those vocalist you mentioned are older vocalists popular in the 80s and 90s. And they definitely did not maintain good vocal health to be able to sing well later in life.

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      1. She is a full lyric soprano (at least in her youth) who people for some reason want to believe is a mezzo. Her lower range in her prime or youth was never really good below G3 actually, perhaps F#3. Her mixed voice retained support up to G5 I believed, but it lacked coordination of muscles and was quite heady throughout or at least above D5. Although not a technical flaw, it takes away from some power and balance of her mixed voice. Her head voice wasn’t supported into the sixth octave either. She is great at transitions, her support is great, consistent, her dynamics are great, she has great control of her instrument but she never had a massively developed voice. She didn’t have a very developed lower range, her mix was pretty good but not good enough to make her an excellent vocalist alone, not with her lower range and head voice being so left out in terms of development. Which is why she might potentially have been or even still be a great vocalist, perhaps just not excellent.

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      2. I did’nt expect you to give out a full-length analysis lol. I actually tought she is a mezzo.
        Unrelated Question : do you know any western vocalist that can be considered excellent

        (Sorry for my english lol)

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  11. I just had to leave a comment based on what you said about Streisand and how you classified other vocalists.
    First, Streisand is definitely a mezzo now, who supports very well down to about d3 and at least up until F#5 (maybe more, I don’t avidly listen to her). That being said, even when she was younger, she maintained support as low as d3 from what I’ve heard, albeit her lower register was not as developed as it is now and could be quiet (sometimes stylistically).
    Of course, Streisand’s dynamics are better than anyone you mentioned as being excellent, and her heady mix isn’t a technical flaw, so there’s no need to bring it up. She doesn’t utilize the coordination for the style YOU prefer, but her notes are supported and healthy, and THAT’S what matters.
    Streisand has a beautifully-supported head voice, but I don’t know if I’ve heard her attempt to go all that high in it. I believe the highest I’ve ever heard her go was in a performance of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” and I’m not sure if it peaks in the sixth octave or the upper fifth. Regardless, it’s hardly make or break.
    The truth is, Streisand is able to use her voice to sing very, very difficult dynamic phrases that the other singers you mentioned (Aretha, Mariah, Whitney, etc simply could not/cannot–and I would argue that Aretha and Mariah could never even be considered ‘excellent’). Based on what you’ve said about SoHyang a million times, even if she only consistently supported to f#3 in her lower register (which isn’t true), it still wouldn’t be enough to disqualify her from being an excellent vocalist. I know you would say that SoHyang has a more developed mix, but on the flip side, Barbra’s mix isn’t technically deficient like SoHyang’s chest register, her pitch (Barbra has a sublime sense of pitch), her agility, and her dynamics. I don’t simply mean SoHyang, but because she is erroneously listed as an excellent vocalist on this site, she is the standard to which I will always refer. In fact, the amount of control Barbra has over her instrument far surpasses that of the other vocalists you mentioned. You seem to always conflate range with ability instead of control. The amount of control you have over your voice is what makes you a vocalist, not simply about what notes you can hit with support. Being able to phrase an f#3 with support is not the same as merely supporting an isolated G3, for instance. Being able to perform extreme dynamics without falling off pitch, even if you never go above D5, is harder to do than mixing an F5, as long as it’s in your range.
    I wonder what you mean by a “massively-developed voice.” What does development mean for you? You certainly can’t think that Beyonce has a more developed voice than Barbra Streisand? Certainly Beyonce has exhibited a wider range with some great notes at the top and the bottom, but does that really mean “massive development” to you–even if when the “in-between” isn’t as consistently good as Streisand (or the other vocalists you listed, to be honest)? Surely you are aware that singing is about breath support, and the amount of control over your breath support is what enables you to do more vocally. Streisand’s breath support (read: control) is much greater than Beyonce’s. Sure, Streisand hasn’t hit a C3 with the same support Beyonce has (Beyonce isn’t that consistent there, either), but the majority of the notes that they both hit are done better by Streisand. What does it matter if Streisand can only hit an okay-to-good D3 consistently, if Beyonce can only hit a great C3 here and there–or if Streisand’s often-resonant and always-supported mix isn’t as “bombastic” as SoHyang’s–when it’s no less healthy (in fact, healthier a good bit of the time) and when everything in between is undoubtedly done better by Streisand? Out of all of the following vocalists: Mariah, Whitney, Aretha, Beyonce, and Streisand, let’s look at the facts:
    Pitch: Streisand’s is the best
    Phrasing: Streisand’s is the best
    Dynamics: Streisand’s are by far the best
    Consistency: Not one of them is in Streisand’s league there
    Healthiness of technique: Streisand has the edge, even if her approach isn’t the one you like.
    Beyonce, Mariah, and Aretha were never excellent in terms of the control they have over their voices. Now, I love Whitney as much as the next person, but she could never do what Streisand did/does vocally. Some of these ladies, such as Natalie, might have a “better” mix in what you consider a “good, coordinated” approach, but do any of them consistently use as healthy a technique as Streisand? Can any of them pull off the dynamics Streisand has? From what I’ve seen, that’s a resounding no. I’m not a big Streisand fan, but to deny that she isn’t one of–if not THE–greatest living female contemporary vocalist is simply ludicrious.

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    1. It isn’t about the style I prefer. The vocal cords can be more or less developed. I’m a rather heady vocalist myself and although it’s healthy, it takes away from how much further I could develop my voice and that’s how I see both her head voice and parts of her higher mix. So it’s not a technical flaw, it’s just lack of development which is what I said. I don’t really have a parameter to compare dynamics so “her dynamics are better than anybody else I’ve mentioned”..so I can’t really compare “dynamics.” I don’t mind admitting that I’m not familiar with her enough to speak of her dynamics, so you can have that. However her lower range when she was young? Support down to D3? You’re welcome to show me where because the 47 min vocal range video I watched did nothing to prove this claim.

      I don’t disagree, being a skilled vocalist isn’t all about how developed your voice is, that’s true. If you truly think that all that matters to us is the supported range, you haven’t read our analyses carefully. Some people seem to place some sort of magical spot for dynamics when it comes to Barbra and honestly I’ve yet to hear anything that she does that’s so inhumanly difficult that nobody else could do. Again I don’t listen to her much but what I’ve heard was good, but it wasn’t as good as people keep making it sound like it is.

      Your facts.. “pitch, phrasing, dynamics” so you’ve listened to all of them enough and Barbra doesn’t go off pitch? Of course we take into consideration the level of agility these vocalists have. The ability to sing over two octaves of notes with speed, control, precision of pitch over your registers and still being able to sing through so many different placements and remain clean, that’s not important to you? That’s not control to you? Mariahs two octave run that goes up from G4 to G6 in Circles, or her Lead The Way run, that’s not control to you? She’s an RnB vocalist, her thing is runs. Barbra is musical theater originally, as far as I’m aware, that’s definitely more on the dynamics but…What is it bout her phrasing that’s SO amazing? What’s it bout her dynamics that is so amazing? I would love to hear it and be dazzled, I just haven’t heard it. Your last sentence is kind of funny to me. It’s a very huge statement you’re making for not being a fan but that’s besides the point. I would never make such a bold statement about any vocalist, cause that’s assuming I’ve heard every single female contemporary female vocalist out there and I’m sure neither of us have. It is a Kpop blog so honestly I kind of don’t care, I could be wrong but I’ve yet to hear these amazing phrasings or dynamics Barbra defenders always bring up that seem to be so out of this world… like I just haven’t heard it, I’ve tried though. Were you just waiting for me to mention her name.. like you just came out of nowhere. You must also think Lee Sunhee is a mezzosoprano with great technique, right?

      I keep listening to this

      or other videos and it’s really good, don’t get me wrong. She places her sound beautifully and she has beautiful dynamics, but it’s not like I’m hearing something that’s so out of this world that nobody but her could do it.

      Also this. I don’t hear support for current Barbra until above F3, anything below that for both young and current Barbra are cloudy notes, often airy or with a low larynx. For young Barbra, the support starts on F#3 but they’re inconsistent. Some of the G3’s have a low larynx for current and young Barbra. For Young Barbra G#3 and above is really easy, F#3/G3 have inconsistencies but I hear support down there. But below that? I mean if a 47 minute vocal range video cannot show me this support you claim she has down to D3, currently AND in her youth, then I don’t know what could. I stand by my point, F#3/G3/G#3. Also for someone so pitch perfect, I skipped through to check where the head voice support ends and at 45:29 she had a very sharp note. It was an octave jump from her mix to her head voice, A4 to A5, which requires not only breath control, but also coordination of the vocal cords and ability to move placements and keep the sound even throughout. She went quite sharp and hit more like a Bb5. Again that’s okay, we are humans and so is she. We make mistakes, she sounds like a vocalist with very good technique but not this vocalist that you’re making her sound out to be. With super abilities that nobody else could ever do. She doesn’t have impeccable support, her larynx isn’t always neutral, she has pitch issues, she’s human and that’s fine. Her Bb5’s and B5’s sound just a bit pushed and shrill, but they’re not bad.

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      1. I would wager that it IS about the style you prefer. You don’t like “overly” chesty styles or “overly” heady styles. You can deny it, but it’s true. And since you brought up Lee Sunhee, I’ll use her as an example. I won’t comment on whether she is a mezzo or a soprano because it doesn’t really matter. You know and I know that she wasn’t trained in a modern way. There are several great vocalists of the past (Judy Garland, Mahalia Jackson, Shirley Bassey) who did not mix the way you prefer. Though it is true that every vocalist has to mix above a certain point, older more “belt”-oriented styles focused heavily on chest resonance. And yes, that DOES lead to pushing, I am not denying that. It leads to pushing above a certain point. The same goes for Lee Sun Hee. I don’t hear pushing as low as you do, but certainly I hear it starting at E5, though not always. Some E5s, especially the brief ones, can be quite open, but most sustained notes E5 and up (and ALL) sustained notes F5 and up can be called pushed. You can take this as a technical flaw, but I just take it as the limitation of her style.
        The same goes for Barbra. She was also trained in an earlier time period, where mixing technique wasn’t taught the same way as it is today. Frankly, it’s weird to me to judge her by today’s standards. Of course, she is not going to mix the same way as Sohyang and Natalie Weiss, but her mixed notes are still healthy, they are still resonant, and one could argue that they are actually HEALTHIER because they are heady. If this is the way she has trained her voice and she is producing resonance, there’s no problem there. Let’s use an example who’s not Sohyang. Take Lee Sun Hee. Lee Sun Hee has great technique within her style, but as you mentioned, it can cause her to push past a certain point. That’s because chest functions have limits. This is the same phenomenon I hear with Jeong Jun il. He’s got great chest resonance, but his high notes are pushed because he barely mixes them. So yes, they have great technique, but this technique LIMITS them. Barbra, on the other hand, has great technique, and she is NOT limited because it’s actually healthier.
        About her lower register, you might be right. When Barbra was very young, she did not have a lot of support in her lower register. I was referencing Barbra from the 1980s onwards, where her support was far better. Sorry for the confusion. Because she’s 75 this year, I take anything from the past as young Barbra. But I’m not sure how much it matters. She can support to around d3 quite well now and mixes well to F5 or so, and aren’t you the one who only wants to analyze vocalists as they are?
        As for the development issue, again, you are just talking about part of the voice. The mixed voice is just one facet of the voice. You cannot conflate mixed voice development with overall development. Sohyang is a prime example. She has a great mixed voice, but her chest voice is not as developed, and her low notes are even WORSE than Barbra’s from when Barbra was a soprano. Technically speaking, the only vocalist I know of who mixes the way you prefer and actually has a great lower register is Natalie Weiss. Most vocalists fall somewhere on a spectrum. Most older ones have great chest registers and are great belters, but they don’t mix like vocalists today. Lee Sun Hee is a great example from Korea, and so is Yoon Bok Hee.
        As for Barbra’s dynamics and overall voice, I’m not talking about how beautiful they are. I’m talking about the health and resonance behind them. You can compare Barbra’s performance of “Memory” with Sohyang’s. Barbra sustains the final note in piano for quite a long time, while Sohyang fails to even get the note into as soft a dynamic level. The whole performance is that way. (Aside from lowering her larynx on the A3s) Sohyang performed the song decently, but she was forced to belt some of the notes where Barbra is quiet because she is not as comfortable with the piece and because she does not have the adequate control to sing it as Barbra does. The same is true for Barbra and Beyonce singing “The Way We Were.” Beyonce is even throaty as low as B4 in that performance. Off the top of my head, Barbra has great dynamic control in performances of “People” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” And I’m not saying her dynamics are untouchable, just that she consistently has better control than the other vocalists you brought up (Mariah, Whitney, Natalie, ((especially)) Aretha), and even Sohyang.

        This is just an example of her great dynamic control throughout an entire piece.
        As for Barbra’s pitch, she does have better pitch than at least some of the vocalists you mentioned (particularly Sohyang and Beyonce).

        Here’s a great example of Barbra staying not only on pitch, but DEAD center of the pitch, even when singing without music. Sohyang has trouble with runs, and she has particular trouble keeping on pitch in her upper mix register. There’s also a performance of 사랑했지만 where she goes pitchy when phrasing in the lower register. Beyonce can’t even sing the national anthem on pitch without music. Barbra doesn’t suffer from these technical deficiencies. You can say her voice is “under” developed all you want (it’s not), but she also has FAR fewer technical flaws than Mariah (she was never on the level of these other vocalists), Whitney (who could be throaty), Beyonce (who is often throaty/lowers her larynx), or even Sohyang (who has always had issues when not performing on shows that edit her sound and lacks true support in her lower register). Of course she has made mistakes throughout her 60 year career, and again, I never said she was/is an untouchable vocalist.
        Let me rephrase then: from what I’ve heard of female vocalists around the world, Barbra is definitely in an elite league. I would never suggest that she is perfect or untouchable. No vocalist is. I am simply saying that you cannot dismiss her based off your preferences (and yes, I will continue to call them preferences). You make exceptions for a variety of vocalists you like (Sohyang and Mariah), but you don’t allow these exceptions for the vocalists you don’t like as much. What I mean is, you don’t seem to allow for diversity of thought (even academic thought) when it comes to vocals. And that’s fine. I know you were taught and trained a certain way, and I totally respect that, but there are actually a variety of ways to train the voice, and all of these come with advantages and disadvantages, and a lot of this has to do with time era. Judy Garland was the best vocalist of her time period, but she was a mezzo who only ever peaked at D5 (once!), and most usually only belted to B4/C5. She also did not “mix” in the sense that we think of it today. And most vocalists were the same back then. Mahalia Jackson is another great example, and Yoko Kishi is a great example from Japan. These vocalists were all great in the style they were trained in, though we know now in 2017 that this style had limitations. Are we to say, then, that there were no excellent level vocalists until Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (who is not excellent level)? All of these women were fantastic and produced large amounts of resonance and had great control of their voices, but they would be what? average in your system? Lee Sun Hee is another example. She was trained much as Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland, and she excels in the same range they excel in. Of course, she is very deficient in the mixed range, though, but does that mean she is only average? Of course not! Vocal styles and systems are constantly evolving, and most older vocalists fail to catch up with the times (or don’t even live to them). Or they simply do not try. I’m not sure if you know Yang Hee Eun, but she is a really great Korean vocalist who sings in a VERY heady style. This is because she was originally singing along more classical standards (like Nana Mouskouri from Greece). She only belts to B4/C5, but that’s because (and I know for sure in her case) she does not believe chestier styles are as healthy for her voice. She still produces resonance, though, and has a great head voice to boot.
        All of this is to say that your standards are quite arbitrary, and what you choose to emphasize is also quite arbitrary. You seem to place a lot of emphasis on the mix register (and the more balanced the mix, the better), and really, that is fine. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am merely stating that there is quite a lot of diversity out there. It seems your blog has quite the following, and it would be beneficial, I believe, if these people knew that there are a variety of ways to view vocals. Critical thinking is important.
        I think a lot of the questions I have when I read this blog (and don’t get me wrong, I respect your work) is when I compare the really great vocalists by your own standards. You have now unofficially placed Barbra and Lena Park at the same level, and it is obvious that Barbra far surpasses Lena Park. You have Kyuhun and Ailee placed above Lee Sun Hee. You would have Kim Eunji as better than Judy Garland. Do people really believe this? And for the record, this has nothing to do with the fact that many of these vocalists are considered legends. It has to do with the fact that they have more control over their voices and consistently produce more resonance.
        In summation, I am not saying your vocal perspective is wrong, per se, only that it is limiting, and that many of the vocalists you claim to be excellent level (in particular Sohyang, Beyonce, and Mariah) aren’t actually as good as you make them out to be. In my view, you are underselling Barbra as a vocalist while propping up others who have more problems than she does. No matter what you think of Barbra when she was young (I mean, she was like 19 or 20 in those clips?), she is definitely a mezzo soprano now, with support from around d3 to f5. You may disagree, but she maintains enough support below f3, even if the notes aren’t very concrete or solid as stone. Honestly, most of her notes below f3 are actually better than most of Sohyang’s notes below A3, so let’s be fair. That is excellent level, even by your own standards. Honestly, I can understand your opinions about many vocalists, even when I disagree with you, but I must admit, I don’t understand this one. I also hope that for anyone who reads this to not take anyone’s word as the truth, not your word or mine. I appreciate the discussion, though. Have a great day.

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      2. I don’t have a problem with overly chesty nor overly heady. I just think that a vocalist should be able to manipulate their mixed voices to sing chestier, headier or more balanced at will. You don’t hear the strain as low as I do, well then. Again I wouldn’t call limiting technique to be great, especially when strain is present. Pushing is a nice way to say it, but I mean strain many times with certain vocalists in certain parts of their ranges. Yes you’re right, I am the one who only wants to analyze vocalists as they are but as I’ve mentioned, I watched the 47 min video and I did not hear support below F3 from any of the clips used. I suppose you could perhaps blame the uploader for poor note choices, since you didn’t provide any examples of said support below F3.

        Actually I didn’t just talk about her mixed voice, I mentioned lower range, head voice and agility too. You literally said that her dynamics are by far the best, which makes it sound like it’s untouchable. You may be right that she could have better control over dynamics over pieces that focus on it. She’s musical theater, dynamics are more important there. She doesn’t have the agility Mariah has, an R&B vocalist, she doesn’t have the mix Sohyang has, a gospel vocalist, and they don’t have the dynamic sensitive she has perhaps? They all have things that the others don’t, none of them are perfect impeccable vocalists. You just said Barbra had far better pitch than Sohyang, you mentioned throatiness for Whitney and lowering the larynx for Beyonce? But I showed an example of her going off pitch and that video also had moments of throatiness and many of her lowering her larynx. They ALL have these issues, they all do these things. So again Barbra is a really good vocalist, but she’s not perfect. She’s not super human, all of these vocalists have moments of pitchiness, of throatiness, of inconsistencies, etc, because they’re humans. They all have strengths and weaknesses. You didn’t say she is an untouchable vocalist? “I’m not a big Streisand fan, but to deny that she isn’t one of–if not THE–greatest living female contemporary vocalist is simply ludicrious.” Perhaps you didn’t use the word untouchable, but you are putting her above literally everybody else as if she had no technical flaws or shortcomings or inconsistencies. As if she wasn’t human or the issues that you claim others have, she was free of. She is not, she has shown all those issues as well, because she is human. I could say that you’re living off of preferences as well, you know. Again you talk like you know me very well and you don’t. I don’t particularly like Mariah or Sohyang, I like Mariah’s music yes, but I haven’t analyzed her so I don’t really have a set opinion on her throughout the years, but Sohyang? I am literally baffled by her singing, call it a preference, but she impresses me. Barbra does too, but not to the extent that y’all make it sound like she should. Nobody said Lee Sunhee was average, but she’s not much higher on the rating system for many..many reasons. Her I care about actually, because she is K-pop and she will be analyzed. But Barbra? You can keep your opinion of her, we can agree to disagree as I did with whom I assume to be your brother because I think I know who you are. I am not going to analyze Barbra, because apparently a guessed “Great” rating isn’t good enough for you, I don’t mind much because she won’t be analyzed and talking about her technique has no place on this blog. Again you keep downgrading Mariah as if her whistle register control, her ability to jump octaves, her agility and connection and pitch precision weren’t something to be baffled by, but you think that dynamics alone are? Ignoring the fact said vocalist had issues with throatiness, inconsistencies of pitch, a lowered larynx and such and you want to tell me I’m the one with preferences and choosing to ignore shortcomings for those I like? Cause that sounds like what you’re doing to me, which is why I want this discussion to be over because I don’t care, it’s not related to our blog and it will lead nowhere.

        Again it really looks like you haven’t read the analyses properly because if you really think that I think is important is a mix and a balanced mix, you don’t know me. I said before and I’ll say it again, singing through your registers, evening out the voice, through your passaggi, having control of placements and colors and balancing of the mix. Being able to choose between a chesty, a heady and a balanced mix, that’s important to me. But you don’t seem to know that. Also if you don’t know this, I did not write Sohyang’s analysis. I don’t disagree with you that critical thinking is important and for the excellent vocalists, I wouldn’t say one is better than the other because they all have strengths and weaknesses because none of them are perfect, I just think you make very bold statements about me and how I think without knowing me and I just also know that I don’t hear things that you do. And that’s fine, if you can’t hear Lee Sunhee straining above C#5, that’s fine. I do and that’s just how it is I suppose. I don’t know Judy Garland, won’t talk about her. Barbra vs Lena, won’t discuss it because I’m done with this discussion about a vocalist I won’t analyze. But Lee Sunhee vs Ailee/Kyuhyun? Oh yeah, wait for her analysis and all the reasons will be in there, in detail. If you disagree, well okay. You know Barbra could be excellent by our standards, I don’t know. She wasn’t analyzed and won’t be, but without digging into her material, I’m not hearing what everybody else seems to focus so much on and oversell. You think I’m underselling her, I think everybody else is overselling. But I don’t wish for a response on anything Barbra related, it’s tiring and pointless. But I do kind of expect to see either or your brother come to discuss Lee Sunhee once her analysis is written, then that discussion will be more welcomed because it is relevant to the blog and I will have done enough research to be 100% confident with my findings. So I guess I’ll see you once Lee Sunhee’s analysis is up but don’t worry, she’s not average. I hope you read the analysis carefully, this isn’t about a chesty mix or a different style, I hear strain but again if you don’t, can’t do anything about that. I wanna say I appreciate the discussion but since it’s unrelated to the blog, I am kind of annoyed with it but I do appreciate you taking the time to talk with so much detail and I do hope you have a great day as well. I will refrain from talking about Barbra because I don’t want these discussions. I’ll even avoid most non-kpop vocalists, more so than what I already do.

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    2. I won’t comment on Barbra much since it is unrelated to the blog, but I don’t mean to say that she’s perfect or superhuman. I think you misunderstood. She has had bad moments throughout her career, and I would never deny that; in fact, it’s one of the reasons I used to be so baffled as to why some people claimed she was untouchable. So we agree there. But I do hear support below F3, not amazing support, but support, yes, especially as she has aged. And for a quick note on Mariah, I am not saying she has not done excellent things, but when we talk about vocalists who did not develop their voices enough, Mariah comes to mind. She was never as consistently stellar and resonant throughout her range as other vocalists of her alleged caliber, and we both know what she sounds like now.
      By the way, I didn’t mean to make statements about you as a person (your interests, favorite vocalists, etc.). I simply mean this is how you come across. I don’t know who your favorite vocalists are, and I wasn’t trying to speak for you.

      Now, to your other comments, I want to say that you take (and this is from what I have seen and gathered from conversations from you) older, more chestier styles as “strained” when that’s not always the case and headier styles as “lacking coordination” when that can be misleading. Of course, chestier styles are not gonna be as polished, and yes, they will push past a certain point. I wouldn’t deny that. I also wouldn’t say that Lee Sun Hee is superhuman and doesn’t strain past a certain point with this style because she does. You say other people overrate Barbra, but you massively underrate Lee Sun Hee. She’s got more control over her voice than either Ailee or Kyuhun, and if you can’t hear that, I’m sorry. I mean that respectfully, of course. Note that I am not arguing that she is the best vocalist in Korea (she is not) or that she is perfect (she is not) or that she has never had problems; I am simply saying she is better than what you would have people to believe. And I would be happy to work with you to send you clips for her analysis, if you’d like because I think it would be helpful. As for her vocal development, you act as if she’s always sang in the same style, and that’s not the case. I’d be more than happy to discuss this with you privately at a later time and go into more detail, but I don’t think this is the time or place.
      And by the way, one last note about Barbra, I said she’s PERHAPS the greatest LIVING vocalist (Mariah is not good now, Whitney is dead, etc.). You get the picture. When I talk about Sohyang’s problems, by the way, I’m talking about how a lot of her fancams from the past two years have had some pretty awful moments. I’m not saying she’s an awful singer, but she’s off pitch and tense a lot more than people admit. Of course, I’m not saying she’s not allowed to make mistakes. Everyone does, you’re right, and no one in the world is free from vocal blemishes. But they have become somewhat of the norm in Sohyang’s unedited performances, and those issues, coupled with her lack of chest development, limit her in my view. That’s just my perspective, and I understand yours is different, and I respect that.
      And I also wouldn’t say I am free from preferences. I do value some aspects of vocals over others, as do you, but at least I am willing to admit it. In any case, I do appreciate you taking the time to discuss this, and I’m pretty sure what you are gonna say about Ailee/Lee Sun Hee/etc., so if you are just willing to wait for the analysis, I am too because I don’t feel like checking this, and you said it’s going to be deleted anyway. Again, I appreciate the time you took, especially seeing as how a lot of this was not Kpop-oriented. Hope you are having a great day.

      Like

      1. These get lengthy and a bit overwhelming so I was hoping you wouldn’t reply. lol Nothing personal, it just emotionally drains me to keep discussing things while going around in circles over and over and getting nowhere. Okay, agreed to agree and disagree. Again “how I come across” shows you don’t know enough about how I think when it comes to vocal technique, that’s what I mean. If you don’t hear strain, I can’t really do anything about that. So by your thinking, I could be a “lazy” or comfortable vocalist who focuses only on one octave and a half of my range but be able to sing within that one octave and a half without caring to develop the rest of my voice but have very good control of that one and a half octave and that alone would make me excellent? I think you put a lot of emphasis on musicality as if that was the only thing to look at in a vocalist. So again preferences, you prefer musicality which you claim to be control and I prefer to look at everything as a whole, including potential. How much further the voice could go, if the vocalist took the time to do it. I can’t give someone a pass for having good musicality if they have limited technique that limits their vocal growth and development. So I don’t have a problem with admitting I have preferences when it comes to technique, but I just can’t use musicality within a limited comfortable range as such a major way to decide one’s vocal ability. That seems a lot more limiting to me than looking at everything as a whole.

        Considering her vocal range video, I am not sure any clips you’d show me would be able to change my mind much and I generally know how to do my research. However if after I analyzed Baek Jiyoung you feel inclined to send me videos, I generally use about 30 for an analysis so if you have things that you’re certain I 100% MUST watch if not the analysis won’t be accurate enough, then you’re welcome to send them over. This isn’t going to be deleted soon, just eventually when Pandayeu decides to re-analyze Sohyang. I hope you’re having a good day yourself too. Lee Sunhee’s analysis won’t be a comparison between her and anybody else, Sohyang NOR Ailee, but it will follow the blogs’ standards. This is afterall a blog with a rating system that focuses heavily on vocal technique, not musicality which is what I think you seem to be missing. The standards of the blog and what I feel about musicality aren’t mutually-exclusive either. Again she hasn’t been analyzed yet but when she is, then you’ll know exactly what my views on her as an overall vocalist are, which will be addressed in detail within the analysis.

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    1. 4:24 is Eb5
      3:19 A5 short G#5 and A5 again
      3:23 E5
      3:27 F5
      3:17 F#5
      3:15 should be E5 but Im not 100% sure about that one.
      The other ones are all correct

      Like

  12. Hi Amin, well, you probably know me as lyric baritone. First I want to say that you’re doing an amazing job here, second, that Barbra stan is well known for fallacies, don’t take him too serious. And here’s my question, I’m trying to sing like SoHyang(not in her range of course) I have to say that it take me almost two years to be able to belt a G5, and by all that high singing(I usually sing to her most “simple” songs, those who not go higher than C5[I sing her songs 6 semitones lower]), my low range got stronger(?), I don’t know why but it happened. But my biggest problem is singing alone, when I sing with the recording, I do well, but without it, I feel completely lost. Any tips?

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    1. I would really have to hear you sing to know exactly what’s going on since I don’t know how you engage your muscles. This person isn’t legendary vocalists, I know who it is though. Thank you for your words, I really appreciate them.

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      1. Ahmin, I saw that tweet the other day and now I saw the discussion that sparked it. Darn. I facepalmed so hard throughout a certain someone’s stuck up approach and demeaning tone, but just know we love you and the important thing is we are all learning together and this blog is Kpop related. I love it even when I’m wrong about certain things and when you correct me and others because we learn so much. I still keep challenging my thoughts over and over. For example, sometimes I think like ”Was I really AA to P back in the day?” and stuff like this.

        P.S. Can I develop support in a new note by gliding into it from a lower semitone? Like singing a song that goes from A4 to Bb4 in a musical phrase. Will that help me better than just singing a song where I need to mix and sustain a Bb4 for example?

        P.S.S. Ahmin, I start mixing at C#4. I wanted to share this with you.

        P.S.S.S. What is the only thing more beautiful than a smiling Vmin?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes sliding is a great way to maintain support and copy the throat shape you have in your lower range to bring it up. C#4? That’s early. The only thing? If I had a real relationship as great as Vmin’s fanfiction love lol

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Is it harder to do complex runs when being a full-lyric soprano? I mean she can do some very good vocal runs, but can’t be compared with singers who have thinner voice and great agility like Mariah Carey, Naul, Lena Park, Ailee, D.O., … Sohyang’s vocal runs are like she has to practice so much before performing and can’t come out naturally if she doesn’t prepare before. She is a gospel singer, not a R&B singer, but her biggest idol is Mariah Carey so…

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  13. What do you think about Siti Nurhaliza? You probably won’t know her, so I’ll give you a little bit of detail. Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza is Malaysian pop singer-songwriter. She is a well-known singing prodigy for her versatile vocal capability. She is known for her sweet tonality in low notes range and expertise in using melisma to her upper registry. She can cover her songs in low contralto to high soprano in full chest voice. To date, Siti is able to understand the vocal scales which helps her deal in her singing perfection.

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    1. I’m sorry dear but we don’t answer video questions about vocalists we won’t analyze. It is time consuming and we don’t have the time to do it, so since she isn’t K-pop, I can’t answer.

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      1. I know it’s kinda unrelated, but, I’ve just saw you did a little review about Charice and some non-kpopers in this section though. Nvm, you can delete my post though.

        Like

      2. Yeah but that must have been either a long time ago when this rule wasn’t a thing or it was because I was familiar enough with them.

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      3. Alright just delete my comments, I’ve found a website that do review about her vocal. Sorry again for asking such nonsense request.

        Like

  14. You guys really, really, really need to update this analysis. SoHyang’s vocal has been developed(or at least adapted to the commercial music style from the gospel one) since this post, and I do want to read your updated anatomy of her recent vocal techniques. Please do it for fans around the world!

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    1. Yes yes dear, I agree completely. This analysis is listed within our future analyses list as one of the analyses which should be updated this year. 그런데 제가 할것아니고 Pandayeu님 할거니까 언제 할건지 아직 잘 모르겠습니다. 그때까지 기다려주시면 좋겠습니다~ 관심 많이 주셔서 감사합니다. ^ ^

      Like

  15. Hi Ahmin, I want to ask about how can singers improve their ability to deliver the message of the song to the audience or “to be soulful”? Im posting it on So Hyang page because since she has became queen on Mask Singer, negative comment rose about how she lack the ability to emote. do yourself agree with it?
    I knew that this blog discuss about technical term but I think you are also capable and understand about this subjective matter.

    Thank you!

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    1. Emoting is how people criticize others when they can’t explain why they don’t like someone’s singing. It’s generally too subjective and I disagree. Emotion can be perceived in many ways. The primary way is through dynamics, but after that it becomes subjective. I’ve heard people say my singing is emotionless and they feel nothing when I sing, I’ve heard others say I really sing with my heart…so it really depends on the listener and how much they connect to the song, not the singer. At least in my own opinion.

      Like

  16. Can somebody clarify this note E5 in Fate sung by a Vietnamese singer full resonance or not?? It is just a short clip. I think this note is strained ( unlike Sohyang’s ), but the maker of this video is delusional and claimed it full resonance

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  17. Not mentioning about the health problems that affect Sohyang recently, I just wanna ask if there Is anything that Sohyang improved recently? Or she is just the same with herself before 2015 era?

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      1. Wouldn’t you say that her mid belts got more powerful and her ~A3 range got more fuller? Atleast that’s what it sounded for me in her recent KoMS performances 😀

        Like

      2. I am not sure, I wasn’t the one who analyzed her and I did not pay attention to her like that so I can’t be the one to account if it did improve or not. Pandayeu would be the one who would know.

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  18. https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18425187_1281253475257177_2592670650732471169_n.jpg?oh=27238d94ee3a34855e9a08bc454fcc84&oe=59B25642

    Hello 🙂
    I would really like to ask if you include that picture of SoHyang in her analysis when it gets updated this year :). I think it’s very beautiful. But I also read that ahmin already has a new banner for her about 1 or 2 years ago but I think it would be really nice if this picture could be included 🙂

    Like

      1. Yees I think so too <3.
        Btw apparently Sohyang has hit a G#2/A2 in her newest performance. Do you think that counts? You can look it up at 1:50. And if you have time it would be nice if you could say something about her lows in the first 2 minutes :).
        btw she was ill while this performance was recorded but now she has recovered again like when she started on the show :).

        Like

  19. Haha I watched Sohyang performance on King of Masked Singer and she makes the judges awe withthe song Monalisa. I hope she will show them her C6 mixed and head voice a lot soon.. Slay them all haha

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  20. Ehm. First of all i must thank you for this amazing site because this helped me a lot to understand about vocal technique but i jave a question is so hyang better than regine velasquez? I know that regine isnt korean but many of her fans curse so hyang about being nasal and etc so i want to know the truth.. Sorry for bad english they arent my mother tongue

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    1. i’m not a writer of the blog but I follow it and soooo many people have asked about regine and from what I understand, sohyang has very good technique. regine stans often jab at sohyang for having bad technique (untrue) or having no emotion (subjective). personally I don’t see the point in pitting artists against each other, you can enjoy each of them without comparing them to someone else.

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    2. Sohyang isn’t nasal so I don’t really understand but I’m sorry I’d rather not answer this question. It’s just a root of fanwars for no reason.

      Like

  21. “Resonance: Very consistent resonance from all throughout the mixed register, having the best ring in the Eb5-G#5/A5 range.”
    I understand all except for the word “ring”. What is ring?

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    1. Essentially the place where her voice has the best tone quality, the best shine and presence it’s like the shining moment of her voice.

      Like

  22. This statement has been forever I believe. A lot of people claimed that Sohyang’s mid belts( A4-Eb5) is weak/ basic/ nothing special, and they compared to Sohyang’s mid belts are nothing to exp: Whitney/ Lara/ Mariah/ Babra’s mid belts. Can somebody clarify it a true statement or not. Personally, I really like Sohyang’s mid belts. It’s really open, free, vibrant, powerful to me; I think she can breath to it and Mid belts are so easy for her. But a lot of people keep attacking her mid belts from time to time. In this blog, it states that Sohyang has the Ring in her mid belts, is that not enough for them( criticizer)???

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    1. Sohyang’s mid belts are considerably resonant, well placed etc. Truthfully just as good as the other vocalist mentioned. What makes hers different than theirs is that they are incredibly easy for her. Sohyang has a mix that is supported and resonant up to C6/C#6, therefore notes in that C5-Eb5 range are just easy for her because of the muscle development. The women you mentioned before have supported mixes up to like F5/F#5 and maybe G5 which is close to that C5-Eb5 range.

      Like

      1. A non-technique-related question: Had you expected her to be this high when you first analysed Sohyang?

        Like

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