After School’s Vocal Analysis: Raina

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Vocal Range

C3 ~ F#6 (3 octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

G3 ~ C#5

G3 ~ G5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in After School
  • One of the widest vocal ranges amongst K-pop female vocalists
  • Able to keep consistency in support and resonance up until C5/C#5
  • Able to use falsetto and head voice at will with ease up until G5
  • Lower range is supported and well projected down to G3
  • Healthy vibrato is produced with good support
  • Dynamic control is used well and consistently
  • Considerable improvement in stability, consistency, resonance and support
  • Intonation is generally good and stable
  • Notes down to F3 can keep decent support
  • Knows her voice well and where it sits most comfortably

Points for Improvement

  • Notes below G3 lose support and below F3 lose tone considerably
  • Notes above C#5 become inconsistent, shouted, strained and with a high larynx
  • Nasality may be present as she ascends outside of her supported range, becoming whiny in quality
  • Vibrato isn’t as present in her higher resonant notes
  • Falsetto becomes more apparent and weaker as she ascends above G5
  • Pushes head voice up in the upper fifth octave and sixth octave
  • Voice lacks flexibility, agility and precision

Registers

  • Lower register: low notes are produced with relative ease, notes as low as G3 are generally forward, full and present in the voice. Notes below G3 are able to stay connected and have tone, even though as she descends, the tone is gradually lost.
  • Mixed register: Voice finds its peak of consistency in resonance around C5, where it’s most powerful and retains the most color. Support is still present on C#5’s and is somewhat present on D5’s, only lost as she ascends, where her voice loses the openness and support.
  • Upper register: Head voice is present and consistently produced as high as G5, with a more relaxed falsetto as she ascends up above G5. Head voice becomes pushed and strained as she ascends into the higher fifth octave, however. Falsetto and head voice can used at will, some nasality may be present in the head voice.

Agility

Raina’s voice and style don’t lend themselves as well to R&B, as they do for pop and ballads. When it comes to singing songs with a little more agility and which require more flexibility, her voice loses a bit of the precision in tone and pitch, becoming slightly sloppy and a bit slow. The faster and more complex the runs gets, the more out of control they become for her, like in “Stand Up For Love” or the run leading to the F5 in “Bang!“. She may at times show better precision in simpler runs and shows potential to improve in this area of her voice, like in “아프고 아픈 이름” and “Run It“. In her attempt to sing “Queen Of The Night”, Raina shows that her voice isn’t quite so flexible at attempting repeated notes in succession with such speed, yet.

Overall analysis

Perhaps a more underrated vocalist in the K-pop industry, Raina, is After School’s and Orange Caramel’s main vocalist and rightly so. With a light voice, she employs a very nasal and girly style to her singing when singing Orange Caramel’s material, but is also able to control her voice at will to create a more mature sound that would best be suited for her ballad performances. She is a light lyric soprano with a wide vocal range, amongst her female K-pop vocalist peers.

Her lower range is one that has not only shown improvement but also has been consistently showcased with good presence, stability, support and control. In “너를위해“, Raina would show a breathier approach to her singing a bit of a lack of consistency in keeping her sound presently forward in her mask, but throughout the years, from her G#3’s in “Run It” to more recently her G3’s in “Ugly“, Raina has been able to improve how consistently she supports her voice and how the connection of her vocal cords has become more grounded in her muscle memory. Her voice is well supported and quite well placed in her lower range down to G3, but also is still present and connected even when she descends to F#3’s, such as in “행복한 나를” to her F3’s in “아프고 아픈 이름” and “나어떡해“. As she descends below F3, however, the tone starts to become gradually airier and less clear, such as in “말리꽃“. Even then, one of the better supported lower ranges amongst female vocalists, Raina has learned to properly place and support her voice consistently down to G3.

One of Raina’s best traits and improvements is the work she’s done with her mixed voice. Although she may be known for her high notes, such as her F5’s in “Bang!“, her voice was also highly strained and pushed back in her debut days with After School. She would often push her voice and did not have the stable muscle memory for her high notes to stay consistently stable and supported, such as her B4’s and C5’s in “알고 싶어요” and “뒷모습“. As she’d ascend, such as in her D5’s and C#5’s in “Love Love Love“, her voice would become whiny and almost yelled, with a very high larynx. When comparing her now, to what she used to sound become, her voice has found much more stability, resonance and control with consistent support up to C#5, like in “장난인거 알아” and consistent resonance up to C5, where her voice peaks at its best and sits most comfortably. In almost every performance, she uses her resonance to further embellish the music and generally stays in a comfortable range that only extends as high as C5, such as in “자기야” and “울릉드 투위스트“. Her voice still becomes more strained as she ascends, but the stability of her mix is better and the quality becomes less yelled and more heady and thin, as opposed to pushed and squeezed, such as her E5’s in “첫사랑“. Contrast can be made by comparing her D5 from “Because Of You” to her D5’s in “아프고 아픈 이름“, where her support isn’t completely lost anymore and there’s just a slightly tightness in sound.

Another strength of Raina’s is her ability to control her mix and lighten up well enough to produce a more connected and purer head voice at will. Her control of head voice and falsetto has also improved considerably well, whereas she used to have issues switching and would lose the accuracy of pitch, such as in “아직” and “사랑을 미룰 순 없나요“, where although sometimes a head voice would be created, the control of transitioning would show flaws. Her voice is now more controlled and more consistently able to stay clean in her head voice, such as in “장난인거 알아“, although there may be a hint of nasality present in her singing. Her voice is still able to produce a head voice even as high as G5, but she may lack control of her voice that high, as she’s shown when attempting to sing “Queen Of The Night”, hitting a couple of Bb5’s and even an F#6, where her voice lost connection and was quite pushed with a high larynx. She may be able to produce head voice, but due to her lack of control over her instrument, she can’t sing such complex lines just yet.

Raina’s technique has improved such that she also has a very good control of her vibrato, which is steady and stable, with a nice speed in her resonance sustained notes and she has the will and control to use it whenever she wants or if she doesn’t want to. Her vibrato becomes absent as she ascends higher above her supported range, however, but that is caused due to the tension created in her voice and the lack of freedom and support. Her voice also has improved considerably with pitch and is most often right on point and well controlled.

Her flaws are only limited to the lack of control and her strain on notes outside of her comfort range, which although quite nice, is still a bit low for a Soprano whose highest showcased note may only be as high as F5, showing a need to improve her mixing technique and allow for better control of dynamics. Her dynamic control is, at this point, quite good, where she is able to control her falsetto, head voice and her resonance is very consistent, allowing for support and control when singing slow tempo and uptempo music. Her voice uses a number of different onsets, such as hard attack, airy, balanced and at times even nasality is employed and done at will.

Although Raina’s vocals may be fairly recognized in the K-pop industry, due to her lack of material as a soloist, as well as a lack of promotion, her passion for singing and improvement she’s shown isn’t so acknowledged due to the image and music she sings as a member of “Orange Caramel”. She is a vocalist who is young and yet has years of experience in the K-pop industry, leaving only room for improvement for the future, which seems very promising considering her already showcased improvement over the years. She knows her voice well and uses what she’s worked on quite effectively in her vocal delivery. Any improvement would be welcomed and would mostly be done in the higher and lower extremes of the voice, where control and technique still seem to lack.

Musicianship

Due to the lack of opportunities, Raina doesn’t generally show much creativity in changing her own songs or cover songs in performances. In certain cases, she may stick to the melody of the song or add some occasional embellishments, but does not deviate too far from the original melody. She is able to show some variations in more acoustic covers of songs, with her overall delivery, but no big changes are done, such as in “첫사랑” and “너때문에“.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

MH Vocalists: Mid-Range Head Voice Vocalists

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

WR vocalists: Well Rounded Vocalists

Best Vocal Performance

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

186 thoughts on “After School’s Vocal Analysis: Raina

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