E3 ~ F5 (2 octaves and 1 semitone)
A3 ~ Bb4
Light Lyric Soprano
- Strongest vocalist in T-Ara
- Natural even vibrato is produced
- Pitch is mostly quite accurate
- Able to transition seemingly well into falsetto
- Falsetto can be for the most part relaxed
- Generally favors falsetto over straining in her mixed voice
- Support is consistently present in her mid range
- Can support her voice as low as A3 with consistency, rarely even G#3
- Able to vocalize well up to Bb4 with support in her mixed voice
- Often lowers her larynx below A3
- Generally sings in a very narrow range, limiting vocal growth
- Mostly places her voice in her nose
- Above Bb4 generally shows glottal tension
- Loses projection and power above C5, sings with a high larynx
- Never been able to truly showcase a head voice
- Underdeveloped mixed range
- Shows tension on certain vowels, such as “Aye (애)”
- Vocal runs are mostly messy and pitchy
- Lower register: The lower range is the most explored and often used part of Soyeon’s range, even then it’s still generally under developed. Often pushes her larynx down below A3 to project in a range she can’t support in.
- Mixed register: Very under explored as a range, she has enough ease to hit D5’s with her mix without too much trouble but does not often sing above that. Support is present in a balanced mix up to Bb4.
- Upper register: Not ever able to showcase a connected head voice, mostly uses an airy disconnected falsetto, but within the showcased range she is mostly relaxed.
As a vocalist, Soyeon has yet to be given enough chances to truly showcase her ability as a vocalist, therefore due to the lack of material she’s been able to put out, she generally sticks to easy pop melodies and ballads, within a narrow range. When attempting things outside her comfort zone, such as more R&B melodies with ornamentations, such as runs, it is possible to hear issues with her ability to control her voice. She mostly has issues with not only not separation, but being able to sing runs with the correct rhythmic flow and smoothness, as well as note accuracy, generally resulting in sloppy pitchy runs, such as in “길에서” and “Stickwitu“.
Debuting in 2009 as the main vocalist of T-Ara, Soyeon has had a very long and extensive career over the years as a member of T-Ara, but she’s yet to truly showcase her full vocal potential. Unlike many idol groups, T-Ara has pushed Eunjung and Hyomin forward as vocalists of the group for shows such as Immortal Song 2 or Yesterday, resulting in Soyeon never truly getting the recognition as the main vocalist of the group. With a voice that has clean support and cuts through with a more mature and full sound amongst the T-Ara members, Soyeon would most likely be classified as a light lyric soprano due to the lightness of her voice and the high placed range her voice naturally sits on.
The lower part of Soyeon’s range is one that’s adequately developed in both support and range and has been somewhat explored over the years. Unlike most sopranos in K-pop, Soyeon doesn’t always go for an airy approach in her lower range and instead falls victim of a different bad habit, often lowering her larynx in order to project in her lower range, ultimately causing vocal strain by creating a sound that’s not true to the tone of her voice. Soyeon has been able to show consistent support in her lower range down to A3, such as the Bb3’s in “여자는 배 남자는 항구“, and A3’s in “사랑밖에 난 몰라” and “사랑아 가지마“. Below A3, there have been times where she sings with an airy tone, such as the G#3’s in “느낌이 아니까“, G3’s in “뭐라고 끝낼까“, and E3’s in “Breakaway“, but most of the time an added fake darkness is present in her lower range with the lowering of her larynx, such as the G#3’s in “Love Poem“, G3’s in “Breakaway“, F#3’s in “눈의꽃” and F3’s in “모나리자“. There have been rare occasions in which she’s been able to carry support down to G#3, such as in “아파“, but such occasions unfortunately show inconsistency in her ability to properly support her voice and keep a stable larynx below A3.
Her mixed range is one that’s very balanced in the fourth octave, generally not overly pushed or full of chest development, Soyeon uses a nice balance of head and chest voice in her mixed voice. This support is generally present up to Bb4 with consistency, as heard in the A4’s in “좋은 사람” and the Bb4’s in “떠나지마“, “산라의 달밤” and “揮著翅膀的女孩“. This support can show inconsistencies depending on the vowel used, such as the Aye (애) vowel Bb4 in “그대가 그대를“, and above Bb4 support becomes less present and tension generally takes over, as heard in the B4’s in “Falling U“, “Wanna Be“. Even though she’s able to support her voice up to Bb4 in her mixed voice, she shows issues with keeping a lifted soft palate and often places her voice in her nose, having yet to show the ability to produce proper resonance in her voice. Above C5, her mixed voice becomes more head-dominant and although strain is present, it becomes less damaging to the voice due to the lighter vocal approach she uses. Although a lighter vocal approach is used, strain is still heard above C5 due to the weaker breath support used in order to reach those notes, as well as the tight throat tension and high larynx present in her voice, such as the C5 in “사랑아 가지마“, C#5 in “30전에“, D5’s in “Sugarfree” and F5 in “뭐라고 끝낼까“.
Her upper register consists of using a falsetto register in order to sing above her mixed voice. She oftentimes transitions up into her falsetto instead of trying to mix higher above C5 and for that, she’s often able to transition quite well up into her falsetto, such as in “눈의꽃” and “Bye Bye Bye“. With that being said, her falsetto is mostly relaxed with an airy quality and is produced without true breath support, where the vocal cords are not fully touching and she’s unable to create a connection between all of her registers, shown in the E5 in “Bunny Style” and the C#5 in this “Acapella” cover. Thus her upper register has yet to be truly explored and developed into a head voice where she’d be able to control her voice better dynamically and produce true head resonance.
Musically, Soyeon has very little issues being able to properly change her voice dynamically in terms of volume in order to properly convey the message of a song. Compared to every other T-Ara member, Soyeon is the only vocalist in the group with an understanding of good breath support where she’s able to vocalize fully supported notes within an octave of her range, whereas every other vocalist in the group rely on poor and shallow breath support with airy vocal tones and weak tone production. Not only does she have the best support and tone production in the group, she also produces a very nice even and healthy vibrato within her supported range. Her weaknesses lie mostly in her placement, issues with keeping a stable larynx but most of all, the fact that she always stays in a very narrow range and does not truly explore the full potential of her voice, although that also keeps her from straining her voice and risking her vocal health like many idols do.
Vocally, Soyeon is very underrated as the main vocalist of T-Ara, not only is she not promoted outside of T-Ara in vocally focused TV shows, even within T-Ara shows, challenging vocal parts are usually given to weaker vocalists with brighter mixed voices who have more volume to their voices with more vocal strain, often overshadowing the fact that Soyeon is the member who’s most likely to be able to actually sing such challenging parts the best. For future improvement, working to truly come out of her comfort zone and explore the development of her mixed voice, breath support and perhaps being given more chances to challenge herself vocally could help her strive to improve as a vocalist.
As a safe and smart vocalist, Soyeon is yet to come out of her shell in many ways, one of those being her ability to not only improvise new melodies in her vocal performances, but really take a song and make it her own. Most of the time, one could see Soyeon as more of a vocalist who sticks to the original melody of a song and tries to stay true to it concentrating more on the lyrical delivery, than trying to add melodic changes in order to show off vocally, indicating that perhaps she may lack the confidence to take a song and twist it around as if it was her own.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Viettien81212
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)