Hyorin’s Vocal Analysis [Newly Updated]

Vocal Range

C3 ~ G#6 (3 octaves and 4 notes)

Supported Range

F#3/G3 ~ C#5/D5

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in SISTAR
  • Arguably, one of the best lower ranges amongst K-pop female vocalists
  • Has shown a very good steady and consistent improvement from debut until 2013/2014
  • Has generally an agile voice with adequate pitch accuracy at times
  • Can support her voice down to F#3’s and G3’s with a forward projection
  • One of the lowest ranges for female vocalists in K-pop
  • Was consistently able to produce resonant notes in her mix, up until Eb5/E5 and F5 at times in 2013/2014
  • Has been able to hit, although not sustain, supported F#5’s
  • Generally good with pitch, control and support in her supported range
  • Has been able to show musicianship and change songs around in different performances
  • Resonance is produced consistently
  • Good placement is kept outside her supported range

Points for Improvement

  • Although she has an agile voice, her runs can often be miscalculated and not precise enough
  • Generally airy tone in her voice, both in her falsetto and lower to mid range
  • The airiness seems not to be controlled and may often create a raspy quality that irritates the vocal cords
  • Her support below F#3 tends to go away and her notes become quite muffled and airy
  • Although resonance has been produced up to F5, her consistency in support and bad vocal habits cause her to lose support above C#5/D5
  • She has yet to extend her range in her mix anywhere above F#5 even after her improvements
  • Nasality may be present occasionally in her voice
  • At times may close her throat when sustaining higher notes
  • Very airy falsetto that often sounds thin and unsupported, inconsistent with producing a head voice
  • At times her upper mixed notes can come accompanied by a tense tongue which causes a tighter sound than desired
  • Has shown a lot of regression in 2015/2016 in terms of vocal health and technique

Registers

  • Lower register: Although able to maintain a stable larynx at times down to E3, her support and placement lose focus around F#3, where below her voice becomes cloudy and unclear and below E3 very airy. Support is kept on F#3’s and above, however, with a very good forward placement.
  • Mixed Register: huge improvement in this aspect, Hyorin has been able to produce countless supported and resonant notes from the range of A4 ~ F#5. However so, she still lacks the stamina and consistency in support to keep every single F5 stable and relaxed. In 2013/2014 she had shown great consistency in resonance up until E5, with F5’s coming on and off with resonance or becoming strained. However lost such consistency in 2015/2016.
  • Upper Register: Most of the time she sings with a falsetto, rather than a true head voice, which causes her voice to become thin and small in projection, often sounding throaty and raspy, without connection and becoming unstable above G#5. At times able to produce a fuller and truer tone in head voice, but very rarely.

Agility

One of the most agile voices amongst K-pop vocalists, Hyorin possesses a very light and bright voice that seems to linger towards ornamentations and lend itself to embellishing her vocal performances. Her voice is able to not only be quick, but also separate and create a smooth connection between every single pitch and accurately hit each and every note in her best vocal runs. However so, Hyorin also tends to many times throw vocal runs around without really taking the time to make sure every single note lands correctly, having a very agile voice but with the lack of control and attention to detail when it comes to fully creating a clean series of ornamentations within her vocal performances. This is shown when at times, her run descending from the F#5 in “Show Me How You Burlesque” can come out clean and land correctly and at other times, will sound sloppy and without direction. Even so, she still has the ability to bounce through her notes and quickly fall back into them, showing good breath control overall.

Overall Analysis

One of the most famous female K-pop vocalists who’s not only famous for her group activities but also individually as a powerful vocals and vocal performances. Hyorin’s instrument is one of the lightest and purest amongst her peers. Her voice is very light, girly and bright, with a very pretty tone quality that at times can be soft and sexy, or at others powerful and present. Her voice sits high where a Soprano voice would sit and still retains a youthful quality, most likely close to the Light Lyric fach. Not only does she possess one of largest vocal ranges amongst K-pop vocalists, she also has shown improvement and consistent care to become a better musician, performer and vocalist.

One of her strongest assets is her developed lower range, which is one of the rarest things amongst pop vocalists in general. She retains a very womanly and present full sound in her lower register when she starts on F#3 and above, showing a stable larynx, forward mask and chest placements, projection and support. She is also able to still maintain a certain amount of tone and color even when she descends to F3’s and E3’s, although the placement and projection are generally lost. Her E3’s are also inconsistent in tone production and lose cord connection at times, example including the recent performance of “슬픈인연” where at times her E3’s would be present and at others they’d vanish into an airy tone. Notes below E3 then become fairly airy and unclear. Even then, Hyorin also is able to extend her lower range down to C3, which for a Soprano of any kind is a feat on its own and is quite difficult to do. Nevertheless without the proper support, range alone isn’t enough on its own. Generally though, as long as Hyorin stays above F#3, her lower range is projected and present, as seen from her performances of  “Listen” and “Halo“.

As a Soprano, Hyorin is able to support her voice and project much lower than is expected of a Soprano, showing an impressive amount of skill in her lower range. That skill isn’t lost as she ascends into her upper mixed range where her Soprano voices naturally sits and shines the most, though. From her pre-debut days, Hyorin was always able to show consistent amount of breath support and control on her C5’s and below, having shown an understanding of placement and resonance even then. As she debuted, she was able to often support and produce resonant notes from the A4 range to the C5 range and at times even up to D5, where her consistency would lack and her throat would often close and she would rather shout than truly show support in her mix. In earlier performances, such as when Sistar came out with “가식걸”, she would often use her throat and strain her Eb5’s even in studio.

As the years went by, however, Hyorin has shown that technique is not only important but it helps a lot. She has since made a huge progress in her approach when using her mixed voice, more so than in any other register. She has learned to eliminated nasality, which was at times more prominent in her singing, as well as learning how to better support and relax her voice so that she could properly execute higher notes. When back in the day, on Immortal Song, Hyorin’s F5’s from “그때그사람” would be completely hit using her throat, she has gone on promotion cycles with her solo debut hitting numerous resonant F5’s in her performances of “너밖에몰라 (One Way Love)”. Hyorin’s mix not only got more stable, it also got more balanced and forward, with a stable larynx and proper support. Though the consistency of tone is kept and the support is good up until Eb5, at times she shows a the tendency to close her throat on sustained belts or use her throat still on F5’s, as seen in her Immortal Song performance of “첫인상“, where some F5’s would come out resonant and some would be throaty and strained.

More recently in 2015 Hyorin has shown inconsistencies in her mix and throatiness has been present even as low as D5 and Eb5, even though good placement is kept up to Eb5/E5 at times, throatiness and glottal tension are too present above D5/Eb5 and she generally strains above Eb5, which shows some past bad habits seem to be creeping back in. After what seems to be even more of a downfall in her technique, Hyorin’s shown that her vocal approach has reverted back to her earlier debut days as a member of SISTAR. Perhaps due to a hectic schedule, bad health habits and whatnot, Hyorin has reverted back to relying very heavily on using her throat as opposed to relying on support in her mixed voice. Whereas in the past resonance was consistent up to E5, nowadays Hyorin struggles to keep her throat relaxed even around B4/C5. In that range support is kept, but there’s an underlying throatiness and airiness that follows her throughout her range. It seems that her instrument has been damaged and is yet to recover. On King of Mask Singer, Hyorin was able to show that with a lighter approach she’s still able to produce consistent resonance up to Bb4, such as in “장마” but even within the same performance, she can revert back to using her throat when trying to sing with more chest in her mix even within the Bb4/B4 range. Above C5 she tends to yell higher notes, as heard in her C#5’s in “장마“, D5’s in “미안해요” and “널 사랑하겠어“, Eb5’s in “Ma Boy“, E5’s in “Tell Me Tell Me” and “Touch My Body“, and F5’s in “너밖에 몰라  (One Way Love)“.

Her weakest register and what keeps her from improving further is her falsetto register. As opposed to staying in her modal register and using her head voice, due to perhaps stylistic choices, Hyorin generally uses a very airy and throaty falsetto, which creates a raspy sound to her voice. Even though it can work stylistically, she lacks the ability to show the fulness of tone she needs for certain songs. For songs such as her solo “Lonely”, the breathiness plays a huge part in sounding vulnerable, but in songs such as “Halo” or “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas“, the tone should be stronger and more well placed with proper cord connection, which Hyorin doesn’t show the ability to do. Oftentimes regardless of where she is in her falsetto register, she will create a raspy airy sound which doesn’t project as well, seen in her E5’s, F5’s, F#5’s, G5’s and even higher, where her throat then closes and creates a weaker sounding voice when reaching higher into the 6th octave.

The issue with her airiness is that, although it’s most present and obvious in her falsetto, her lower range up to her mid-low range often also sounds rather raspy and airy, not being able to fully connect her vocal cords and show the true tone of her color behind the airiness she present. Another issue of Hyorin’s and possible relation to straining is the tendency to try and sound more mature and darker than her voice is. Hyorin is one of those vocalists with very bright voices who tries to sing powerful strong ballads without having a full strong voice, which can sound as though she’s trying to sing outside of her age range. Her voice has yet to mature and for that, at times she will unbalance her mix and bring too much chest and cause a throaty approach with a tense tongue in her upper belts due to the lack of control and excessive pressure put on her throat and vocal cords to create a fuller sound. The lack of balance created by her mix might explain the reason why Hyorin has yet to show the ability to mix her voice higher than F#5, although she has stated in an interview that due to overworking and lack of rest, she used to be able to hit G#5 but now her highest note is only F#5, which could again be worked on so she could eventually mix up higher.

Musically speaking, Hyorin shows a certain degree of understanding of music. She can dynamically change her voice to adhere to every genre she chooses to sing, even though at times the throatiness may happen, she shows the ability to produce a rockier edge sound and at other times an agile R&B voice. She has the support to dynamically explore songs to the fullest, such as in “귀로” where her voice gradually grows with the intensity of the song. The one thing about it is that she still could support her voice more and create a soft yet supported sound when her dynamics are quieter, as opposed to a breathy raspy sound, being able to develop more versatility in her musical choices and approaches to interpreting songs.

Regardless of her flaws, however, Hyorin has always been one of the top K-pop idol vocalists, improving immensely with time and being able to outsing many of her peers. With an extensive lower range in support and a consistent ability to keep resonance up into her highest range, Hyorin is not only a powerful vocalist but also an overall skilled performance, entertainer, artist and dancer. She only shows improvements and at her young age, one can only expect that she will continue to improve as she ages, given the seriousness she’s shown in taking care of her instrument and her craft. Perhaps for the future, things to work on would be learning how to properly connect the vocal cords to ease the raspiness and irritation caused the breathy vocals on the vocal cords. As it’s been noted, recently there has been a regression so the best route for her would be to take time out to rest, heal and learn how to use her voice again in order to keep her instrument from being permanently damaged.

Musicianship

Throughout the years, this is another area where Hyorin has also shown care and courage to take risks. Her intonation is often a very desirable one, but just like her vocal runs that can at times come out wrong and uncontrolled, Hyorin’s vocal improvisations and changes aren’t always 100% spot on. Although she tries to add her own character to songs, she has yet to be fully confident in her melodic choices. Even then, she’s able to create interesting changes in songs, such as in more recent performances of “Halo” and “Ma Boy”, where the changes in arrangement allow for Hyorin to play more with the song rhythmically and melodically, a skill Hyorin’s been developing and is only getting better with time. Even more recently, when being free to sing an acoustic broken down cover of “Some” with Jooyoung, Hyorin was able to showcase a completely different vocal delivery from the original, showing her development in musicianship. The rest is just more practice and confidence, because she has a very attentive ear to keep her intonation on point.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

LR Vocalists: Low Range Vocalists

MA Vocalists: Melismatic/Agile Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by : Ahmin (kitsunemale)

Video by: gangertae

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Re-Analyzed by Ahmin (kitsunemale)

(Originally analyzed by : Pandayeu, Chung2, Ahmin (kitsunemale), gangertae)

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709 thoughts on “Hyorin’s Vocal Analysis [Newly Updated]

  1. Hello, what do you think about Hyolyns Sketchbook Performance from today ? It honestly feels like she has improved. Especially on the high notes – She sound less throaty and actually way more like the 2012-2014 Hyolyn than the 2015/16/17 Hyolyn.. or am I hearing things ?
    Here is the performance

    A general little analysis would be super nice, but I want to highlight some parts :

    02:57 – 03:01 : The belted F5. What do you think about it ? Honestly .. I think her F5’s sound way better now. 2015-2017 they usually sounded super throaty and raspy, but now.. she seems to have way more ease again and the quality of the voice actually reminds me of her „One Way Love“ – it‘s still not supported though, right ? If not.. is it still safe to say that she is on a good way and improved again ?

    What about the „Boy I like this way“ parts ? ( 00:59 – 01:01 & 02:04 – 02:07 ) okay – the „Boy“ F5s were super short, but what about the „way“ Eb5 ? Is it very strained ? It actually sounds pretty nice in my opinion. I don‘t know if she already supports this high again, but there is definitely a lot more ease and less throatiness going on in my opinion

    And the last highlight would maybe be the „Give me all your love … you and I~“ part at 02:41 – 02:50. I think she did really well. Especially the last C#5 in the „I~“ part sounds really good in my opinion

    – What do you think about Hyolyns current level ? Any improvement ? In my opinion her „Lonely“ D5 in 2017 was still so throaty and raspy. Now even her F5‘s sound way better than her D5‘s one year ago – or am I seeing things ? Have an amazing day 🙂

    Like

  2. I just saw that you include that one way love performance again. Does that mean she improved again finally? What about her supported notes?

    Like

    1. It’s her latest performance

      I’m so confused about her vocal. I think she supports because I think there’s some ease but I have my doubt. I mean if she supports it’s too small compare to her 2013-2014 self. Please enlight me lol

      Like

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