Hyorin’s Vocal Analysis [Newly Updated]

Hyorin

Vocal Range

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

Supported Range

F#3/G3 ~ C#5/D5

Voice Type

Light Lyric 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

Weaknesses

  • 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.

Rating

Above Average to Proficient Vocalist
(Highest peak: Good vocalist prior to 2015)

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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About ahmin3

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

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

  1. Has Hyo supported F#5 before regression? How were the ones from Bang Bang with Ailee and the one below from Show Me How You Burlesque?
    Links:
    Bang Bang:

    2:06
    Show me how you burlesque:

    2:33
    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi there. Although no examples were shown, the analysis does address that she had supported F#5’s in the past in the strengths and registers sections. Show Me How Your Burlesque is the exact example where it’s happened. Not Bang Bang though.

      Like

      1. So sorry for not noting that. Oh my I can hear for supported notes better(I guess)! So the Bang Bang one wasn’t supported. Oh well. This blog has helped me so much in recognizing good and bad technique! Love it!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. THIs is a collection of Hyorin E5 Touch my Body. As mentioned she supported E5 during the era of 2014. However nearly all of the high notes in this video sound strained to me, the rest is vague. I dont know if it is supported or not. Since i am not professional could you point out a couple examples of supported E5 in this video and also the unsupported ones for me? U dont need to go through the whole video. Thank u so much

    Like

    1. The throaty falsetto in one of the examples surprised. It’s funny, I’m actually hearing the glottal tension. 0:47 that one..isn’t it the same performance? I hear the glottal tension on the studio version, was the broadcasted version maybe dubbed? Cause the live version didn’t sound nearly as glottal. 1:13 there is a bit of pushing, but it didn’t sound strained. 1:25 again pushing but not strained. 1:34 I hear pushing in a lot of them, air pressure but not necessarily strain. 1:44 this one had a bit more of a strained quality. 1:54 this one was a bit more glottal than some other. 2:02 it started well but got glottal a second into the note. When Hyorin sustains notes she uses her glottal muscles to hold them, so sustained notes become throaty compared to phrased ones. 3:08 I’d say this is more on the strained side. 3:18 this one too, but it’s just not a really bad kind of strained. It’s bright in placement but some of them have too much pushing and glottal tension. What I mostly hear is inconsistencies in the amount of tension and pushing. It goes back and forth.

      Like

      1. What about 1:05 , 2:30 and 9:30 ?
        It is funny that those e5 that i think are better supported are actually those worse one lol

        Like

      2. It’s funny, the brightness eventually left her voice. 9:30 is more recent, right? She didn’t sound as bright there. 1:05 bright and pushed, 2:30 is similar, both have support with pushing and brightness. Less glottal tension than some others. Like the two right after 2:30. 9:30 there’s more glottal tension.

        Like

  3. how did she do in this video? 2:14-2:29

    I think she’s getting better, but I don’t know how much better is better 😀

    Like

    1. 2:20 she closed her throat a bit on the D5, but the phrased B4’s have beautiful placement. 2:28 throaty airy falsetto. This is just regular Hyorin, there’s nothing that’s different. The range is relatively narrow, she’s doing anything she’s not before.

      Like

  4. Hi. During her prime( 2013-2015) How would rank among among female vocalist under Good category? I didn’t able to see her old analysis. I just found her interesting this year. Another question, if there’s pushing, it means chesty mix? Does brightness helps to minimize strain?

    Like

    1. The analysis hasn’t been modified. The old content is there with added new content that explains her regression. No pushing can happen in a balanced or heady mix too. Brightness helps minimize strain yes.

      Like

      1. Hi. During her prime( 2013-2015) How would rank among among female vocalist under Good category? I think it would Shannon>Hyorin(2014 era)> Lee Haeri > Lina. Thank you for answering.

        Like

  5. In your hyorins vocal range video, 9:00~9:06 are falsettos? At first I thought it HV but aftwards it sounds disconnected and Ariana imitating MC

    Like

  6. Hi there, regarding to the song” spoiled”. How hyorin’s vocal performance here, it sound a bit shaky on 2.41. And how the note in 3.06 and 3.07? Sorry for asking a lot of question. Thank You 🙂

    Like

    1. 2:41 the C#5’s in that line were kind of throaty, the first one barely came out. She might have been just a bit tired. 2:58 too much air in her runs, she didn’t use precision. 3:04 tightness on the D5’s and throatiness 3:06 D5 up to F#5, all very throaty. She didn’t seem like she was in a very good condition for this performance.

      Like

  7. Hi! Can you please do an vocal analysis of Yeunjung and Sejeong from IOI? I put this here since Yeunjung and Hyorin are from the same company…

    Like

    1. You could check our future analyses list when making requests, because I’m sure you’ll find their names there under their current groups, Cosmic Girls and Gugudan respectively.

      Like

    1. The Eb5’s in I swear we’re kind of closed but the D5’s had actually pretty good control and weren’t too pushed in Goodbye. The F5 was the best I’ve heard of her in a while even though theist tension is still present. Strained F5 in One Way Love but much brighter! Her condition is far better.

      Like

  8. recent V-live performance of their last comeback song “Lonely”

    how did you feel of Hyorin belted notes between 2:51-3:07.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Soyou sounds airy and nasally as usual.
    Any changes in anyone’s technique?

    Like

    1. Hyorin sounded really throaty and tight on those Eb5’s. There was also a quick strained F#5. I don’t hear anything new for Soyou.

      Like

  9. hello! these are kinda random, but i had a few questions about hyorin (i hope they’re not too much!). my first one is about her performance on is2 during the michael bolton special (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O-h8RDpmv0). this was in 2014 when she had consistency on e5/f5, but everything above c#5 sounds very strained and throaty here. is this just a stylistic thing, or was she in a bad condition here? or could it just be that this was one of her inconsistent moments (like her strained e5 in the 2014 performance of spend my life with you)? also, that leads me to my next question, which is about this performance of one way love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfOCuZIjYJQ). i’ve seen this f5 being used in a lot of vocal videos, so that would make me assume it was resonant, but it really doesn’t sound like it to me? it sounds very tense, so i was wondering if it truly is resonant.
    anyways, my final question (sorry if this is a lot! it’s fine you guys are busy and can’t/don’t want to answer) is do you guys have any good examples of hyorin’s runs? i know she has a good one in that show me how you burlesque performance, but i was wondering if you can think of any other ones.

    Like

    1. The thing is actually her consistency up to E5/F5 was never 100% consistent cause Hyorin had a lot of incidents of being randomly throatier than usual which can be attributed to her vocal health. This performance is a good example of that, she suddenly sounds very throaty and I don’t see how it would be stylistic or on purpose. The thing is Hyorin has always had this thing that over the years was amplified and is what I can call glottal tension. I think it’s partially because when she belts higher, she holds onto the notes very tight with her glottal muscles and also because her vibrato seems to be more laryngeal. So the F5 you linked, there’s support and a bright placement, but I do hear glottal tension holding the F5 AND the Eb5. That used to happen on even her E5’s and D5’s, when she sustains them. She’s better at phrasing than sustaining because she doesn’t have the time to add the tension when she’s phrasing. I feel like she has a few good runs in Halo as well, right now I can’t remember much off of the top of my head, I’m sorry.

      Like

      1. oh, i see, thank you! ah, that makes me wish she would put more work into vocal training and whatnot :/
        also, one last quick question: why aren’t there any hello performances in the best performances section? maybe not the i am a singer one, but weren’t there some concert ones where she managed to support the f5?

        Like

      2. Hello and Goodbye you mean? I was thinking Adele lol yeah there were some but I don’t know, it’s more than just how high they supported.

        Like

      3. oh lol yeah i forgot about the adele cover (for good reason!), the fact that the korean title is just 안녕 makes me forget the english title is technically hello/goodbye. and ok, makes sense! ugh, i wish she didn’t mess up that e5 in the 2014/2015 spend my life with you performances, because then those could probably be some of her better performances. but anyways, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 2:45 she is not necessarily dropping support on Eb5, but she just doesn’t sound very opened and she could’ve kept that vowel a lot freer. Otherwise the song only goes up to C5 throughout. She did well, great bounce, great inflections, it was nice. 0:53 nice resonant B4 in Diamonds. Jessi was dragging the tempo so much during her verse, like she just kept dragging it and making it slower. 3:00 there’s too much of a difference in their tone qualities there, so the harmonies sound kind of odd and they’re not blending well. 3:05 ~ 3:08 was much better cause they were both mixing, if Jessi was mixing lightly maybe it’d work for Hyorin to use her falsetto, but it just didn’t make sense for her to use falsetto to harmonize with Jessi’s heavy chesty mix because it’s just the two of them and the tone qualities and placements are far too different, especially with Jessi being a mezzo.

      Like

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