EXO’s Vocal Analysis: Baekhyun


Vocal Range

F#2 – C#6 (3 octaves, 3 notes and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

C#3 – G#4/A4

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Extensive range
  • Third most consistent mixed voice in EXO
  • Has shown large improvement from debut to recently in pitch, support and placement
  • Semi agile voice
  • Relaxed falsetto up to F5
  • Able to support notes as low as C#3 consistently
  • Does better in the fifth octave than Chen and D.O.
  • Able to produce a connected head voice

Weaknesses

  • Unbalanced, throaty mix above A4
  • Notes below C#3 are more often than not, unsupported, coming out quiet or breathy
  • Occasional sloppy runs
  • Above F5, falsetto becomes airy and squeezed
  • Forces his jaw forward during belts, causing jaw tension
  • Sings with a lowered soft palate at times, causing a more nasal sound
  • Worst Intonation in the EXO vocal line
  • Head voice is inconsistent

Registers

  • Lower register: Shows support down to C#3, with one or two supported C3s. Anything below this is unsupported, where the vocal cords become disconnected and the sound becomes unstable, airy and quiet.
  • Mixed register: Bright and Resonant. Able to retain support and resonance up to G#4/A4. Anything above is strained, however. Generally a healthy and balanced full mix is used around his supported range, which then becomes very heady and pushed as he ascends above his supported range.
  • Upper register: The most developed falsetto in EXO, able to produce relaxed strain free notes up to F5 consistently, has shown lots of improvement in this area in relation to pitch and control, as well as transitions.

Agility

Second most agile voice in EXO. Decent precision and pitch, though sloppy runs do occur. He has shown a large improvement in this area, showing good precision and note separation and simpler runs and scales, as opposed to earlier in his career where pitch in general would be an issue for him and vocal runs would result in him sliding through notes without a direction or clear idea of the vocal run he’d attempt.

Overall analysis

Baekhyun possesses a bright, masculine voice that shows more in his middle range. He is often chosen as one of EXO’s lead vocalists for solo performances and duets, and is often given the highest notes in EXO songs due to the brightness and headiness of his mix, which although strained, allows for him to stay in a high range for a longer period of time with less vocal effort than Chen or Kyungsoo would need. He has shown one of biggest improvements amongst EXO vocalists in his breath support, control and range, allowing for him to better show the naturally light but masculine characteristics of his voice, which sits in a tenor range and due to the lightness and youthful qualities of his voice, would most likely be classified as a Light Lyric Tenor.

Baekhyun has shown improvement in his consistency in support in his lower range, most notably in his musical performances, where he was able to vocalize down to C#3 with a clean, supported and forward tone, as opposed to the inconsistent quiet and airy tone he had shown earlier in his career. Because of the other lower voices in EXO such as Chanyeol or even Kyungsoo, Baekhyun usually stays above C#3. When he does sing below C#3, however, it is often quiet without support. Usually, whenever he sings C3 or lower, he tends to go off pitch, usually being sharp, because of how uncomfortable his range is to his voice, like in “Old Song” and “The EXO Low Note Battle“. Baekhyun’s lowest note is a F#2, which he hit in the EXO Low Note Battle. This is possibly the lowest note in his range as he was unable to process any lower.

Baekhyun’s most comfortable and developed area of his voice is his mix. When Baekhyun first started, notes like G4/G#4 were unstable with fast, uneven vibrato, like in “What Is Love” and some live performances of “Miracles In December“, or jaw tension from pushing his jaw forward such as in “Baby, Don’t Cry“. As time passed, he was able to develop consistent resonance on G#4, and begin showing resonance on A4, for an example “아직도 어두움밤인가봐“, “The Answer Is You” and some live performances of “Baby, Don’t Cry”. Baekhyun had at one point surpassed Kyungsoo in the F4 – A4 range, becoming EXO’s second most consistent vocalist behind only Chen. However now one can say they’re still quite even in consistency within that range up to G#4, whereas Kyungsoo seems to be slightly more consistent on A4/Bb4. Like Kyungsoo, Baekhyun’s mix above A4 becomes unbalanced, However, while Kyungsoo’s mix has too much chest, Baekhyun’s mix becomes too heady and also takes on a throaty quality. Examples of this are his Bb4 and F5 in “What Is Love”, the phrased B4s in “My Lady“, his sustained D5 in With You on Immortal Song 2, his Eb5 in the “Wolf Demo“, his E5s in “Wolf“, and his F#5s in the “High Note Battle“. Because of how heady his mix is, he is able to belt and sustain higher notes in the 5th octave and endure strain better than Kyungsoo and Chen.

His upper register is the best in EXO. He is able to sing in a relaxed falsetto without strain up to F5, such as in”진정 난 몰랐네“, but once he goes above this, he begins to push too much air through his cords causing him to produce strained, unstable notes. He has once shown the ability to sing  in a connected relaxed head voice, such as the F#5s in the studio recording of “Moonlight”. However his ability to produce a connected head voice can be inconsistent. This is a large improvement as closer to debut, Baekhyun’s falsetto was shown be rather nasal, pushed, strained, and airy even in the middle 4th octave, like his performance of “Love Song“. His highest note is a C#6 on “EXO High Note Battle“.

A light lyric voice, Baekhyun’s agility is the second best in the group. He is easily capable of performing scales on both extremes of his voice with precision such as in the A2 from “Love, Love, Love” and the F#5s from “Moonlight”, and can also perform runs in his mixed voice, like in “아직도 어두움밤인가봐“, “Open Arms“, “Miracles In December” and “What Is Love”. Despite this, Baekhyun still produces sloppy runs such as when attempting Kyungsoo’s “Black Pearl” run on live performances. Earlier in his career, he would consistently produce sloppy, imprecise runs as most, if not all, of the runs on his “Love Song” performance with Chanyeol. Baekhyun used to have rather bad problems with pitch, to the point of being nearly unable to remain in key while singing “Acapella“, also shown in this “Compilation“. While Baekhyun’s pitch has improved, he still has tendency to go off pitch more frequently than ChenSoo. Earlier on, Baekhyun also didn’t sing with a risen soft palate, causing a more nasal placement when singing. This has been corrected though, as nasality appears far less than before.

The most popular member of EXO’s vocal line, Baekhyun’s voice is distinct and easy to recognize in their songs. Due to his extensive mixed range, he is often compared to label mate, TVXQ!’s Changmin. With Baekhyun’s growth rate, it’s quite possible that he might be able to fix his issues with time, most importantly correcting his pitch issues and evening out his mixed voice.

Musicianship

Baekhyun has some knowledge of musicianship, having a decent ear of when to add in runs. Baekhyun prefers to avoid straying too fair from the original, not adding many runs or changes to avoid messing up. Despite this, Baekhyun has the ability to add dynamics in order to emphasize the feeling in the song, such as in his duet with Chen on Immortal Song 2 where he sings the beginning softer and more airy to show sorrow over the person he loves leaving as compared to later in the performance where he sings in a more powerful dynamic to show anger at the bitter betrayal of his trust.

Rating

Above Average to Proficient Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: gangertae (Pedro_0508)

Videos by: Edgar Cárdenas

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Haruko & Ahmin

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About ahmin3

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

539 thoughts on “EXO’s Vocal Analysis: Baekhyun

      1. could you explain me what does it mean vowel is distorted ?i mean the problem in the vowel or the support itself??(i am sorry i am just trying to understand and i thought if he strains i will see his veins in his neck so can one support and his veins popping out ?? i know it is not about the veins but i thought it is sign would help me until i understand the whole thing)

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      2. I mean the sound of the vowel came out distorted because his throat was closed, the sound was pushed and throaty so there was no roundness nor openness. One can support and the veins pop out, yes.

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  1. Could you kindly analyze the performance of D.O., Chen, Baekhyun and Suho of this video? Is it supported or falsetto at 3:10? Is it Bb4 at 3:36? And it is supported but strained? Besides, D.O.’s voice is quite strained and he seems pretty tired to me And there seem a consistency problem with Chen 1:09 and Suho at 0:42?

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    1. 3:10? It’s mostly mixed, with a quick falsetto at the beginning. I’m sorry, but why did you say supported OR falsetto? Those aren’t opposites. 3:36 What do you mean supported but strained? Do you mean supported with tension? No, it’s just quite strained. Lots of throatiness and a closed throat. 3:52 This was better. 1:09 I’m not sure I get what you mean with the word consistency here, I don’t hear anything..specific except for maybe a bit of pitch. I don’t hear necessarily strain from D.O., fatigue to an extent yes. 0:42 I hear no true support, he’s mostly breathy and flat.

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      1. Many thanks for your quick reply. Sorry for my poor English. By consistency actually what I mean is a problem with pitch. And at 3:47 is it a falsetto or a head voice? And how can we tell a strained voice from a throaty one? By strained do you mean singing purely with the throat? Thank you~~

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      2. It was falsetto and I didn’t hear pitch issues with Chen. Well throaty IS strained, but there are different types of strain other than throaty.

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