f(x)’s Vocal Analysis: Luna

Luna

Vocal Range

C#3 ~ D6 (3 Octaves and 1 Semitone)

Supported Range

G3 ~ D5/Eb5

G3 ~ Bb5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Light-Lyric Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in f(x)
  • One of the most developed head voices amongst female K-pop vocalists
  • Achieved resonance a number of times from G4 ~ E5 range
  • Able to mix up to A5
  • Able to keep a stable larynx even in her lowest notes
  • Able to project forward her lower register range between B3 ~ G3, occasionally F#3’s and F3’s
  • Consistent with resonance and placement, very good placement on belts
  • Very relaxed and healthy vibrato
  • Head placed studio A5 in mixed voice
  • Big improvement since debut

Weaknesses

  • Loses consistency on E5’s, and strains anywhere from F5 or above
  • At times tends to get nasal mid-phrases but not in belts
  • Tongue tension and pulling sound back in placement may happen at times
  • Notes below G#3/G3 tend to be very quiet and a bit too airy
  • May present vocal fatigue during a song that requires a lot of belting throughout the whole song
  • Head voice may be resonant but isn’t as often showcased as she could
  • Runs at times may be sloppy and slow
  • Pitch and Intonation are not completely consistently on point
  • Nasality may be present in her head voice
  • Transitions between mix and head show a lack of control in head voice pitch wise

Registers

  • Lower register: at times able to produce well and full notes down to F3 and F#3 but may lose consistency in keeping cord connection down there. Consistently able to produce supported notes from G3 and above, whereas notes below F3 generally become very quiet and breathy.
  • Mixed register: Very well balanced mix, not too much chest and generally bright and yet resonant. Placement is often kept well and opened during belted notes up until D5 and at times Eb5 live, and consistently up until Eb5 in studio. Live and in studio she’s been able to produce resonant E5s but not consistently and anything above E5 has a tense high larynx. Nasality may be present in this register.
  • Upper register: Notes in her head voice are mostly very pure and bright, very well produced without breathiness. She has projection, cord connection and is able to articulate well in this register, but may often confuse mask placement with nasal placement in her head voice. Able to produce resonant and relaxed notes up until Bb5.

Agility

Luna’s voice is a very light soprano voice with a brightness to it. One of her biggest weakness is her lack of vocal agility. Her runs are often slow and sloppy, lacking note precision. She doesn’t often sing R&B nor does runs, but when she tries to add them to a melody they sound slightly off and flat, without fully having a thought-process before hand to plan them out and practice them fully so that they hit every single note precisely. She does not usually show an ability to do runs that are faster than a slow-tempo one, but occasionally is able to precisely separate each single note in her vocal runs, specially in her head voice, such as in “해뜬날“.

Overall analysis

One of the most capable vocalists amongst SM vocalists and in general, the newer generation of female idol groups, Luna is a one of a kind vocalist. Some may argue and put Luna down by saying does not have the prettiest natural tone, but starting off as a dancer turned main vocalist, she’s been able to show great improvement from her debut days till present as a vocalist, which should give her more than enough credit as a professional. Luna possesses a light bright soprano voice, with a very youthful feminine color to it. It retains a clean sound throughout her range and presenting technical control superior to most other main vocalists.

Luna’s lower range is one that shows an impressive amount of development in comparison to the average female pop vocalist. Most of the time she’s able to keep a stable larynx in her lower range and although breathiness may be present, she’s been able to show more than occasionally that she’s able to keep tone production forward and fullness in tone all the way down to G3 and at times also F#3 and F3 where breathiness may be present but tone isn’t completely lost. Notes below F3 however show a lack of ability to keep the sound full and eventually turn into a very breathy sound. In songs like “아프고 아픈 이름” she shows nicely connected F3’s, but in “천일동안” her F#3’s are quiet and breathy, showing a lack of consistency in that range.

Her mixed register is a very healthy register where she’s able to keep a nicely supported sound throughout without losing the tone and keeping a fulness without the breathiness present. From the time when she debuted until now this register has shown very good improvement, from having been often tense and letting the sound go back into her throat, she’s learned to keep an open full throat, a relaxed tongue and let the sound be placed in her mask and projecting very well with good resonance. She is consistently able to belt and keep resonance up until D5 live, with many good Eb5’s and consistently up until Eb5 in studio. Occasionally she’s able to produce supported and even resonant E5’s live and in studio, but generally loses the stability in her larynx above that, straining anything above E5. However so she’s been able to show a head placed A5 in studio, even if not live. Although she is able to be resonant on her E5’s in “Pinocchio”, in their most recent comeback her “Red Light” E5’s are often tense with a high larynx. The tension in her upper register seems to exist more commonly when the vowel “Aye (애/에)” is included, closing her throat more often than when she has to sing other vowels.

One of the most developed head voices amongst female K-pop vocalists, Luna shows an understanding of placement and cord connection beyond her years when she uses this register. Her head voice is generally very bright and healthy, never really being throaty or constricted. The only fact is that, the only time she’s sung above Bb5 in studio (a C#6 in “종이 심장 Paper Heart”), her throat seems to do the same she does when she gets to E5’s or F5’s in studio, and somewhat become constricted and pushed. Nasality in this register is also a common flaw, where she will switch but let the sound come into her nose too often and not fully resonate with an open throat sound. In the same performance of “해뜰 날” where Luna showcases her resonant Bb5, she also shows occasional nasality when switching into her head voice from her mix. Although more recently, Luna has shown the ability to sing above Bb5 live, the truth still stands that when she does, such as in her C#6 from “편지할게요“, her larynx raises slightly and tension is present in her head voice. On a more recent episode of “Masked Singer”, on Luna’s performance of “슬픈인연” Luna, again, displays her developed head voice by hitting not only Bb5 and F#5, but also C6 and D6 in a section of the song, still showcasing resonance and support in her head voice only as high as Bb5, but an extension up to D6, where her voice thins out and becomes less resonant and supported.

Amongst her weaknesses, Luna’s inability to control her nasality mid-phrase is another one. She often has a lifted soft palate in belted notes, but mid-phrases she often lets the sound go into her nose and become blocked. This was often the case during her earlier years, but more recently has been greatly reduced although it still happens, which hinders the effectiveness of her projection and overall sound. Another one of Luna’s problems is that oftentimes she is relaxed during belted notes, but when she tries to add a little bit of attitude and energy into her singing, her sound becomes slightly tense and muffled because she pushes the sound by tensing up her tongue with a half growl-like sound, instead of simply adding more chest voice and/or volume. That generally happens in her lower mixed range and more commonly in the fourth octave up to C5.

Another flaw is her lack of ability to control her transitions into head voice. Although she’s able to fully connect her registers, at times she might not control her breath well enough and will let the pitch go sharp when she transitions into head voice. However so, her breath support is still very consistent throughout her performances and she possesses a very natural and healthy vibrato. She at times may show vocal fatigue within sections of songs when she is forced to stay in her upper register showing that it still lacks in terms of consistency and strength, although that seems to also be improving over time. Her intonation however only occasionally has flatness, where she is mostly very precise and in tune when singing melodies, showing good control of her breath and vocal cord coordination.

Luna shows an understanding of musicality, which she shows only when she is able to perform slow ballads and pop oriented songs, able to dynamically change songs and interpret them with good technique within her supported range. She has yet to really broaden her horizon in more genres of music, but she’s also been part-taking in musicals which help her grow vocally in the musicality aspect of her singing. Although at times she might make technical mistakes, she’s able to show a control of her voice that adds to the dynamics of her singing very well. She’s shown such improvement in her singing, that’s possibly just a matter of time until she fixes her other minor flaws in consistency and tone production. She is a vocalist with a growing passion for singing and draws inspiration from many divas, who influenced her improvement and musical interest.

Musicianship

Along with vocal agility, musicianship is another area where that part of her technique overlaps and shows weaknesses. Although at times she shows her own color and interpretation of songs without trying to add any specific genre of music into it, meaning no specific rock effects, R&B vocal runs or blues notes, she does have her normal simple pop/ballad alterations in which some notes and rhythms are occasionally changed. However so, she does try at times to add vocal runs which come off sloppy and take away from moments where she could’ve shown more vocal control. Those are occasional nonetheless, making it an area to be worked on but not really a big issue in her normal vocal delivery.

Rating

Proficient to Good Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: kitsunemale

Video by: 2NE1Bang

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

527 thoughts on “f(x)’s Vocal Analysis: Luna

  1. How was her sustained E5 (I think) in this performance? It seemed pushed and strained but just making sure. It’s at 0:13 of the short clip.

    Thanks again for all the work you put in for this website!

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  2. Did you know that Luna comes from a family of Classical vocal singers? And that she was the only member of her family to not major in Classical music? Maybe the first fact accounts to her good vocals? (:

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    1. If that were the case, her technique would have been really good even from the start of her career but she’s had massive improvement after her debut. I think this could be speculation though, but we can’t be sure.

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  3. Hi. I have a question. Did she able support the A5 in these statement? “However so she’s been able to show a head placed A5 in studio, even if not live.” It is the high note in Jet right? Where she shifts to head voice when performed live.

    Thank you.

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    1. Hi. Please allow me to answer your question. 🙂

      . Luna has better registers than Taeyeon. Yes, they both support G3 in their lower register, but Luna has better projection than Taeyeon. In their mixed register, the belting area of the voice, Luna has support up to Eb5, she even achieved resoance from G4 – E5 range, while Taeyeon has support up to D5, but she is inconsistent in terms of support above C#5/D5, she has resonance around A4 – C#5 range too. In head voice/falsetto, Luna utilizes head voice and has support/resonance up to Bb5, while Taeyeon switches between head voice and falsetto, she has support in her head voice around F5/F#5 range though she lacks openness. Taeyeon has better agility, able to do slow-mid tempo runs without much issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hello i want to ask about luna and taeyeon taeyeon can support to eb4 how about luna i am trying to analzing them with my skils but i am not sure in what terms luna is better tan taeyeon

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    1. hello. Someone answered you previously:
      “Luna has better registers than Taeyeon. Yes, they both support G3 in their lower register, but Luna has better projection than Taeyeon. In their mixed register, the belting area of the voice, Luna has support up to Eb5, she even achieved resoance from G4 – E5 range, while Taeyeon has support up to D5, but she is inconsistent in terms of support above C#5/D5, she has resonance around A4 – C#5 range too. In head voice/falsetto, Luna utilizes head voice and has support/resonance up to Bb5, while Taeyeon switches between head voice and falsetto, she has support in her head voice around F5/F#5 range though she lacks openness. Taeyeon has better agility, able to do slow-mid tempo runs without much issues.”

      Additionally, I suppose you meant to say Eb5 not Eb4, and for this, Taeyeon is not really near having Eb5 as part of her supported range. Sure she has a few supported and resonant Eb5s, but nowhere near enough to say that she can actually handle the note. 🙂 She’s capable of resonance on D5 but above that, as mentioned by Jeff Hernz, she loses the consistency in support. She can consistently produce head voice, falsetto seems to be more of a stylistic choice than inconsistency with HV, but she carries support and (and on a few occasions resonance) til F5/F#5.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s keeping Luna from becoming a “good” vocalist? It seems that all her registers are developed. Comparing Luna to Lina, Luna has a better lower register and her upper register is also better. Lina’s mixed register is only one semitone better. In terms of dynamics, they are around the same. Luna may lack in pitch control, but does that make her not a good vocalist? Or is it because of her occasional nasality?

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    1. Inconsistencies with placement and support, sometimes nasality happens, sometimes she gets throaty on even D5, sometimes she has tongue tension that she really doesn’t need. It’s not all about the specific notes in the supported range, but how each vocalist sings within said supported range. Lina is more consistent than Luna and overall approaches her notes better, aside from her vibrato. So don’t focus on supported range alone.

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  6. Luna has been cast to play “Ich” alongside Ock Joohyun in the musical “Rebecca.” OJH has been in it a while, but Luna’s obviously new and I’m excited they get to sing together! I don’t know if you’re familiar with the musical at all, but the music sounds like it might challenge Luna in some areas she needs improvement still and I’m excited!

    Liked by 1 person

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