F#2 ~ Bb5 (3 octaves and 2 notes)
C3 ~ Bb4/B4
- Strongest vocalist in B1A4
- Arguably one of the strongest male idol vocalists
- Resonance is very present and consistent in his voice
- Able to support his voice even as high as B4
- Healthy vibrato produced consistently
- Intonation is quite impeccable
- Able to support his voice even as low as B2 at times
- Improvement from debut till present
- Able to keep a relaxed and connected falsetto even as high as D5/Eb5/E5
- Versatile vocalists, able to sing many different genres of music and modify his voice accordingly
- Although not having a very agile voice, melismas can be done with very good precision and accuracy
- Does not try to sing in ways that he can’t or outside his supported range, smart vocalist
- Falsetto is under explored and his least developed register
- Lower range is often airy and quiet, often stylistically
- Upper mix around B4 loses consistency and becomes more shouted
- Mixed voice can be overly chesty
- Nasality can be present in his voice
- Jaw/lip tension can be present in his singing
- Musicianship is almost inexistent in his singing
- Lower register: One of the better lower ranges amongst K-pop tenors, Sandeul is capable of supporting his voice as low as B2 at times, although he’s only consistently able to show support down to D3, without stylistic airiness getting in the way.
- Mixed register: One of the most consistent mixed ranges amongst K-pop idol tenors, Sandeul not only has improved this range, but also shows a consistent ability to bring resonance forward into his voice, keep tonal accuracy, good tone production and stamina. Mixed range can often be overly chesty, that being its only main flaw.
- Upper register: Though not a bad register, his falsetto is his least developed register. He doesn’t often try to sing in this register, but when he does, there’s a clear gap of power and resonance between his falsetto and the rest of his voice. Nonetheless, he’s able to sing in this register with control and a relaxed throat up until E5.
As a light-lyric, his voice has the natural ease with the upper register and the ability to stay in this register and produce all sorts of different ornamentations. Having that said, Sandeul is not a R&B vocalist, nor does he rely on vocal agility to deliver his musical choices. If the time is brought to him where he needs to show competence in note separation, melismas and vocal agility, he’s capable of producing slow to medium tempo vocal runs, with very good pitch accuracy and note separation, such as in his OST “아파서“. Not only does he possess the control and accuracy of pitch, but also he’s able to stay in a very high range and still control his pitch and keep up the stamina to maintain the climax of a song, in occasions such as “왜 둘만이 있으면 (Just The Two Of Us)“, “빗속의 여인” and “This Time Is Over“.
B1A4’s main vocalist, Sandeul, is one K-pop’s strongest male vocalists and tenors. Amongst all the tenors and idols in the current K-pop industry, it’s hard to actually see male vocalists with an even column of sound throughout all of their register, if not at least two, who’s consistent, professional and is also musically and vocally versatile. His voice naturally has a strong and forward sound to it and due to his technique, he’s able to effortlessly sing in most of the tenor range, with which he’s able to show the best of a tenor, where his voice naturally lies. His tone is very youthful and bright, but with a strong piercing quality to it.
His lower range possesses a very forward quality to it, it’s often very masculine sounding, bringing out the tone of his voice even in his lowest notes. He is able to keep a relaxed, stable larynx, a mask and chest placed lower range and a very stable tone production consistently down to D3, as heard in “사랑 Two“, “사랑 그놈“, “안 오실까 봐“. Many times, Sandeul opts for a more airy quality sound when he descends below D3, which may mislead the listener into thinking that he’s uncomfortable in a range below D3, as heard in “코스무스 피어있는 길” and “잊혀진 계절” but it is often through such performances that he also shows the ability to disconnect his vocal cords and create breathy, not supported sounds for stylistic purposes, and then in the same performances, he shows the ability again to hit the same low notes, with a connected sound, connected vocal cords, support and projection. Examples include his C3’s in “비내리는 명동거리“, “유리의 성” and “그녀가 처음 울던 날 (The First Day She Cried)“, and his B2’s in “빗속의 여인” and “꽃순이를 아시나요“. Even then, as he descends below B2 very rarely and the only times he’s done so, his voice becomes considerably less projected and more airy, it’s possible to say that below B2, he loses the support in his voice, such as the A2 in “사랑 그놈“.
Although he’s able to show a more advanced control of his lower range, his mixed range is where Sandeul shows the most control, versatility and power. He has shown improvement in the consistency, support and mixing of this range from debut till mid-late 2012. From performances such as “그 흔한 남자여서” and “찍사랑“, where he used to show some tension and less support above G4. As time went by, he showed a very good improvement in his vocal delivery and his support in his mixed range, consistently hitting A4’s throughout his performances, with an even column of sound, resonance and control, such as in “내 방식도래의 사랑“, “남자답게 사는법” and “잊혀진 계절“. The consistency of tone production and resonance still stays as he ascends up high into the Bb4 area and B4 area, although then that’s where his only weakness shows. Due to how heavily he relies on a chest-dominant mixed voice, he loses the ability to expand his range higher above C5, also showing a lack of ease and brightness in tone, due to how much chest and how little head there is in his mixed voice. For that reason, although he may be able to sing Bb4’s with consistent resonance, such as in “왜 둘만이 있으면 (Just The Two Of Us)“, “밥만 잘 먹더라” and “차표 한장“, and B4’s such as in “해바라기” and”빗속의 여인“, he starts to lose the stamina and requires a lot more muscle coordination to stay up in such a high belting range. The excessive chest voice in his mix can also lead to damage in his vocal cords if he overuses them, which is unlikely for Sandeul, because he generally shows no tendency in singing outside of his supported range. The few times he has sung above B4, such as in “그것만이 내새상“, his voice shows less power and becomes more pushed and tight, not completely losing the support but instead losing the freedom he possesses in his lower mixed notes. However, he consistently shows resonance up until Bb4 and even resonance and support up until B4, with less consistency depending on his condition, letting his voice become a little more shouted and less relaxed such as in “The Time Is Over“.
Sandeul’s falsetto range is not only his least developed register, but also his least used register. He is capable of placing his falsetto very forward into his mask, producing a bright and projected sound, but in this register he loses the fullness and the control he possesses in the rest of his range. It isn’t a badly developed register, but it could explain the lack of head voice present in his mix, due to the lack of development of a true full head voice. Having said that, he is able to switch into this register without much effort, such as in the rehearsal of “왜 둘만이 있으면 (Just The Two Of Us)” and “나는 그대품안에“. The control and pitch became less precise in this register, although still much better than average. He has shown the ability to stay relaxed in this register during Fan signings and when singing with his fellow bandmate, Jinyoung, and sing up to D5 and E5 without tensing up or closing his throat. Due to how under used this register is, he has rarely gone high in this register, but he has been able to hit A5 before in a song for a Samsung Galaxy Promotion, with other K-pop stars, where he placed the note very forward in his mask and used an extra push of air to get it out, showing less control and a bit of tension in this register.
Sandeul’s consistency of tone production and support throughout his registers aren’t his only strengths. He also has consistently shown a very healthy, controlled and stable vibrato throughout his range, stamina to sustain high belting notes for long periods of times and control of his musical dynamics. At times his voice may become slightly nasal and have a whiny quality to it, which most often than not, is done on purpose and is a style he’s going for. With that, he shows a lot of control of where to place his voice and how he wants it to sound, showing yet another strength of his, his versatility. Not only can he sing ballads, from the top to the bottom of his range, with control in dynamics, airiness, softness, crescendos and diminuendos, such as “그대 앞에 난 촛불이어라” and “하나의 사랑“, but also he’s able to bring forth his voice into a smooth style of singing, with a more R&B-like sound and a rhythmic vocal approach, such as in “추억속의 그대“, a strong and present vocal performance when singing musicals, such as in “사랑이 온다면“. His versatility expands to Trot, Folk, and even jazz, such as in “나는 그대품안에” where he also sings a verse of “Fly Me To The Moon”. Even when the song isn’t a simple 4/4 time signature and requires a more 3/4, waltz-like time signature, where there’s a slight different push in tempo, such as in “코스무스 피어있는 길“, where he shows no struggle and no deviation of timing.
As a vocalist and entertainer, one could say Sandeul is one of K-pop’s most underrated vocalists. Not only is he a versatile vocalist, but consistent and has very superior technique. Even then, he still has room for improvement, at times he creates tension in his voice with his jaw and lip positions and he pushes a bit as well. For future improvements, Sandeul’s only real concern would be working on his mixed range, creating a pure and strong head voice and allowing that to balance out his mixed voice so that he can extend and expand his range further and show even more versatility. With the rate of improvement and the consistency he’s shown, one can only expect good things from the bright future Sandeul has ahead of him as a musician, artist and vocalist.
His only true biggest weakness is his lack of musicianship. As a vocalist, Sandeul possesses one of the healthiest and most consistent techniques. He’s a musical person, hears and understands music well and is able to perform many different style. Although that all is true, Sandeul lacks the natural ability to improvise, create new melodies, new rhythms and newly personalized versions of the songs he sings. He has a very straight-forward way of singing, doesn’t try to create things he can’t create and is a cautious, smart vocalist who doesn’t try to do what he doesn’t know how to. The few times he’s shown some kind of different interpretation of songs, show a very mild and not risky approach to the new melodies, such as in “나는 그대품안에/Fly Me To The Moon“. Exploring the full extent of his musical abilities could allow for a wider range of styles and interpretations of songs, only further developing himself as a musician, now that he has more than the basics of singing down and is ready to really deepen those aspects of his musical knowledge and delivery.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
Best Vocal Performances
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)