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

Points for Improvement

  • 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.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: gangertae (Pedro_0508)

Videos by: Edgar Cárdenas

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Haruko & Ahmin

715 thoughts on “EXO’s Vocal Analysis: Baekhyun

    1. I mean this example provided wouldn’t be a good way to determine whether he’s improved or not. I can’t respond because I haven’t heard him later.

      Like

      1. I couldn’t find much, he doesn’t do performance like when he was a rookie on TV anymore.
        But here is maybe a dumb question but can a male ever hit a supported g#5.

        Like

      2. I suppose it’s possible but it’s not only extremely difficult, it’s almost unnecessary. The need to mix that high isn’t there most of the time, it’s hard for sopranos to do it so a tenor or male in general mixing a supported G#5 would be kind of unreasonable since their instrument isn’t built to mix that high most of the time, at least if we are thinking of their tessitura.

        Like

  1. Hi!
    Do consider updating this analysis, it’s been 5 years and I think Baekhyun has certainly surpassed Chen by now.

    Like

    1. Hi dear. We always update analyses if there’s new information. We don’t rewrite, just change and add details. Saying that Baekhyun has surpassed Chen is a very bold statement. Why do you think that?

      Like

      1. Thanks for replying.
        Well, I don’t know much about vocal technique so I am really sorry if I sound ignorant.
        From what I have read in the analysis the gap between the three vocalists doesn’t seem to be huge each having their own strength (Chen- lower register, D.O.- mixed register and agility, and Baekhyun-upper register). Baekhyun is taking vocal lessons and as mentioned that he may ‘fix his issues with time’, I believe he has as he seems to sound much better now. I think he ‘might’ be on Chen’s level if not better.

        Like

      2. No no baby it’s alright, I feel ignorant is a strong word. You sound just fine don’t worry. Well yeah but that’s not a specific reason, right? I mean I don’t think it matters who’s better than who personally but I haven’t heard that significant of an improvement from Baekhyun although his approach in his lower range is a bit better. Chen actually has been improving his mixed voice too.

        Like

      1. Well, the gap between Baekhyun and Chen is not as large as that between Taeyeon and Seohyun. Plus, Baekhyun has been constantly improving and has surpassed D.O., so it’s not ‘impossible’ for him to be as good as Chen.

        Like

      2. What do you mean still? He would to actively be striving to surpass D.O. in order to get surpass him. It’d have to be an active goal of his to focus on improving his technique in contrast to him.

        Like

      3. I think everyone seems to believe that Baekhyun has surpassed D.O. (or least in on the same level) Most place him above D.O. in vocal rankings and others place him on the same level (objective rankings)

        Like

      4. Sorry I said ‘still’ cuz I thought Baekhyun already surpassed D.O. , and I was just asking…

        I think most people think Baekhyun already surpassed D.O. because D.O. is currently serving military, and also Baekhyun did so many high notes.[and I think you already know that most KPop fans always been obsessed with High Notes]..
        Sorry if I made you misunderstood..

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Baekhyun is the ‘relatively’ the most well rounded vocalist in EXO (he isn’t the weakest in any area unlike Chen and D.O.).
        His lower register is slightly more developed than D.O. and his upper register is by far the most developed. People also say that D.O. lacks ‘range’ because he doesn’t do really high notes like Baekhyun, which supposedly makes the latter better.
        I don’t know what to believe I just assumed that he was better because the majority claim so.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. @Commentor i do agree that baekhyun is the most round, what you insinuate by “unlike Chen and D.O.”??? even in the upper range it not like baekhyun is consistently supporting his head voice , he only has a slight edge over his two teammates in that register

        Like

      7. @Commentor I actually think Baekhyun is the weakest in Mixed Register [between EXO’s vocal Line obviously], cuz from what I heard so far his A4 is still not as open as ChenSoo [ChenSoo is more open], and also his highest resonance is [I think, I always am not sure] G#4.[Chen : A4, D.O. : idk]….
        Btw I might be wrong cuz like I said I always not sure[not confident enough with my comment that I wrote].. (sorry if my english is not good)

        Thank You for understanding!

        Like

    1. Some notes in head voice in the mid to end part were well connected. He pushed quite a bit towards the end and the phrased A4’s in the beginning carry support with pushing. He’s not too throaty, just really pushy.

      Like

      1. If you have time, please consider watching this clip of Chen performing the same song:

        Is it head voice at 3:06, 3:41?
        (Ps: I don’t know much, I am just trying to figure out)

        Like

  2. Between baekhyun, kyungsoo and chen who do think has improved the most when it comes to their vocal technique in recent years.
    What in your opinion that they need to work on to become better vocalist.

    Like

  3. Between baekhyun, kyungsoo and chen who do think has improve the most when it comes to their vocal technique in recent years.
    What in your opinion that they need to work on to become better vocalist.

    Like

    1. not ahmin but i would say it chen he improved in all his 3 registers, he even has some connection now on his upper range

      Like

  4. This will be a long list, but do see any improvement from those clips. It is his most recent singing.

    Like

    1. Oh baby, this is a lot of videos…and they’re of him singing along to songs which is doable but one specific night wouldn’t be enough to tell you.. I’m afraid I’m hearing..some moments of a brighter lighter mix around G4 and G#4, but I am not sure that alone would be considered improvement especially if I’m having to listen to him battling over for dominance in volume with the original singer of a song in their original key..such as Bruno Mars or Whitney Houston. The Bruno Mars one showed exactly what he’s always doing, whereas the first one had some nice moments.

      Like

  5. Just out of curiosity I was wondering who the most chesty singer is between all the singers you’ve analyzed so far. I’m doing this on baekhyuns analysis because I know he’s pretty chesty but I don’t know if he’s the “most chesty”

    Like

      1. The “Ooh” on the Eb5 and F5 are close to a falsetto than a head voice.The highest part which is a mask placed head voice G5 is well placed but not supported

        Like

  6. Hi, So baekhyun is the main vocal in superm and he is singing these highnotes in their songs… do you think it’s out of his range? Or that he is using an unhealthy technique that might damage his voice? Is it higher then his highnotes in exo?

    Like

    1. the first clip he did show some support on the lower notes of that head voice sequence in my opinion, around D5 I guess? the other clips I’m not sure but it didn’t sound supported to me.

      Like

Leave a Reply to GG-April Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s