E3 ~ F6 (3 Octaves and 1 semitone)
A3 ~ Bb4/B4
- Able to support her voice properly within 1 octave of range
- Notes on A3 and above carry support and are nicely connected
- Notes above Bb4/B4 can at times carry some support, up until C5
- Able to sing smoothly with good pitch most of the time
- Voice is able to connect with a healthy head voice at times
- Lightly mixes, so less damage is brought to her voice when she is out of her supported range
- Vibrato can be produced with a healthy technique
- Throat closes easily on notes outside of her supported range
- Unable to create more dynamics and different volumes/onsets with her voice
- Notes above B4 generally are tight and the larynx goes high
- Her low notes below A3 lack support, connection and projection
- Nasality is often present in her voice, she can get quite whiny at times
- Voice lacks agility and accuracy in pitch when trying more complex vocal lines
- B4’s and other belts can get constricted, mostly on the 오 (Oh) and 우 (Oo) vowels
- Falsetto is tight, weak and overly airy
- Lower register: Generally supported down to A3, with nice enough projection and enough support to connect the voice. Lower notes lack projection and sound shaky.
- Mixed register: Higher mixed range above C5 becomes tight and overly light, with little support. Notes on B4 and below are generally relaxed and supported, able to at times create fuller supported B4’s and Bb4’s, but many times nasality is present in the voice.
- Upper register: Falsetto is generally used the higher she goes but in a range that’s comfortable and in her supported range, she can lighten up her mix and create a pure head voice. Most other times, although able to extend her falsetto high, it stays tight and tense.
Possessing a light girly voice, Jieun lacks in the flexibility department. The voice is not only not ready to do vocal runs, she seems to, for the most part, be aware that she does not have the necessary agility to properly deliver ornamentations in songs. The few times where she was required to do more complex vocal runs in her performances include “희망고문“, where her runs were frequent during the whole of the song but lacked in terms of connection, precision and separation of pitch, sounding sloppy, inaccurate and quite slow. Another case would be her performance of “꿈” where even with the help of consonants to ease the transitions, her adlibs and scoops or slides lacked precision and flexibility.
One of Korea’s debutants on Immortal Song, Jieun was able to showcase her vocal skills first through her debut in Secret, then later through Immortal Song 2 and lastly through her solo debut. Her voice is very girly, almost angelic, with a very delicate quality and would most likely fall under the light lyric soprano fach.
On the low extreme of her range, Jieun has one good advantage that is her ability to consistently produce connected low notes with vocal tone. Almost never is her lower range solely air and she often does take down tone to the lowest of her notes, even her E3’s in “희망고문“. Even then, her voice still lacks proper connection and support below A3, where her voice finds its peak of comfort and connection. Below A3, such as in “별“, where her G3’s and F3’s become quite unclear and lack connection of tone. Her voice becomes unstable and inconsistent below A3.
In her mixed voice, this is where Jieun’s voice becomes the most stable and consistent. She is generally quite consistent with pitch and does not deviate often. Her mixed range up until Bb4 is consistent with support, stability and tone. Her voice is generally clean in tone, lacks any signs of real raspiness, throatiness or pushing within her supported range. She has the tendency, however, to produce B4’s with either nice and consistent support, such as in”꿈” or at times become rather closed. The difference lies on the vowels used, such as the “(애) Aye” and “(아) Ah” vowels, where her voice is opened, as opposed to “(오) Oh” and “(우) Oo” where her voice becomes more tight in closed, such as in her performances of “쳐다보지마“. Whenever Jieun ascends above B4, though. Her voice becomes a bit more pushed and whiny, such as her C5’s in “희망고문” and “Vintage“, her C#5’s in “Run To You” and “이젠“, and her D5’s in “Beauty and The Beast“. Her voice gets specially more constricted as she ascends into E5’s and above, such as in “희망고문” and Eb5’s in “예쁜나이25살“. Her mixed range is, however, quite heady, so the strain in minimal since there’s not that much pressure on her vocal cords caused by an excessively heavy usage of belting and chest voice, allowing her to sing in this healthier manner even if the swallowing muscles in the back of her throat tend to close and cause sound to become small, constricted and unprojected.
Her falsetto range is generally quite airy and does not show much connection to her mixed voice. It becomes overly airy and does not project as well as desirable. In songs, such as “별“, her falsetto almost disappears into the microphone, although at other times she’s able to produce a healthier and more connected head voice, generally on notes as low as B4 and C5, or at times it can extend up to Eb5, but with a bit of tension and a whiny quality, like in “희망고문“. Even then, her voice lacks the control and support to stay in a high range without losing such power.
Musically speaking, Jieun has got one of the weakest voices amongst main vocalists in K-pop. Not only does she strain in a relatively low range for a Soprano, but her voice simply has almost no difference in dynamics. Due to the balance in her mix being overly heady, she tends to not be able to put any power into her singing, often sounding small, light and overly fragile all the time. Although not a power house, when sustained belts are needed, her voice still lacks resonance and a clean healthy vibrato, which don’t come due to the lack of support and nasality present in her voice. Her soft palate generally stays low and her voice sounds like it has only one color, not ever changing dynamics or showing control for onsets. Examples include her performance of “친구라는 건” and “회상III“, where her support exists, but whenever she tries to add more power, her voice sounds small and constricted, as if being pushed over the edge without the proper muscle strength to handle stronger passages.
As the main vocalist of K-pop girl group, Secret, Jieun sadly falls short when it comes to vocal technique. There being barely any difference between her and her group members, although arguably their strongest vocalist, Jieun still does not follow the pattern of strongest vocalists in groups being considerably better than their sub-vocalists. Throughout the years, little to no difference was seen in Jieun’s vocal ability and improvement. Her vocals still lack power, control and resonance. For the future, working on her support, lifting her soft palate and creating a better balance between chest and head voice to properly develop the CT and TA muscles would be the way for her to further develop her voice, to create more dynamics and to further develop her mixed voice.
Jieun is a very safe vocalist, who’s very aware of her voice and where it stands. She doesn’t try to often sing out of her comfort zone, when given the choice. She generally has very limited musicianship but uses it to her advantage when in need of change for a song, so that she can make songs easier for herself. A song that would be slightly challenging, like Unfaithful, which descends down to F3, becomes easier when she limits the line and goes down only as low as Bb3 instead, staying in key but also keeping her voice projected. For the most part, the voice is quite limited and lacks any skill to actually be able to change songs for reasons beyond her limited technique, therefore she lacks the ability to actually change music for the music, as opposed to making things easier on herself.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Viet Tien
*Here she displays her range from F#3 ~ F6
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)