BtoB’s Vocal Analysis: Eunkwang


Vocal Range

F#2 ~ C6 (3 octaves and 3 notes)

Supported Range

C3 ~ A4

Voice Type

Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in BtoB
  • Consistent control of his mixed voice
  • Resonance is produced consistently
  • Able to keep support up to A4
  • Lower range is supported and forward down to C3
  • Falsetto is often relaxed up to C#5/D5
  • Runs can at times be produced with accuracy in pitch
  • Mixed voice is well balanced and healthy
  • Good placement is kept even above his supported range
  • Pitch is generally good
  • Good control of dynamics
  • Not usually nasal

Weaknesses

  • Uses a larynx vibrato
  • Larynx is raised above A4
  • Lower range below C3 is often airy and muffled
  • Issues with airiness in his falsetto
  • Runs can be sloppy and pitchy
  • Can become whiny in his falsetto
  • Sometimes bad posture in his singing can cause upper body tension

Registers

  • Lower register: The lower range is full and produces consistent tone with clarity and projection down to C3. Chest voice is well placed with good resonance but generally loses tone below C3.
  • Mixed register: The mixed voice is consistently supported up to A4 with a neutral larynx and good placement. Above A4, good placement may be present but the larynx usually is raised causing strain to the voice.
  • Upper register: Under explored register but nonetheless developed to an extent. Most issues with pitch happen in this register and in the transitions. Can become tight above D5.

Agility

Generally not as inclined to sing with an R&B style as other vocalists may, Eunkwang still shows a necessary amount of control when attempting melismas in his vocal performances. When it comes to vocal runs, Eunkwang is quite adept at taking his time to hit every note with emphasis on rhythmic “bounces” that allow him to more accurately sing through slow to mid tempo runs, such as in “You Raise Me Up“, You’ll Be Alright and “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“, even though the right flow may not be present, he shows the care to carefully hit each note at a time. Whenever runs are sped up though, he has the tendency to rush through the notes with less accuracy in pitch, becoming sloppy in his delivery and somewhat pitchy, such as in “나비무덤” and “A Song For Mama“.

Overall analysis

Debuting in 2012 as part of Cube’s boyband BtoB, Eunkwang always had the role of the main vocalist of the group. Generally taking the higher harmony and the higher notes, his voice was always a highlight of BtoB songs, always taking the most challenging vocal lines in the group. With a group whose vocal line consists of two tenors, Eunkwang and Changsub, and two baritones, Sungjae and Hyunsik, it can often be challenging to find songs that can properly fit the ranges of both voice types. However as a tenor with a much higher and lighter voice, Eunkwang finds himself mostly at ease with the range generally written for BtoB’s repertoire.

From the bottom of his range, Eunkwang has for a long time shown the complete control of his instrument within a reasonably low range for a tenor. Compared to most tenors in K-pop, the average limit for the bottom of a tenor’s supported range generally lies around D3 ~ E3. However so, Eunkwang has proven that he’s able to produce a well connected tone, with the true tone of his voice being brought out at the bottom of the third octave with ease, good chest placement and resonance and support, such as the E3’s in “울어도 돼“, Eb3 in “You Raise Me Up“, D3 in “忘れないで (Wasurenaide)” and “까치 까치 설날은“, C#3 in “소주한잔” and C3 in “보고싶다“, “내 길 더 잘 아시니” and “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“. However below C3, he either has the tendency to let his voice become airy and lose tone, such as the B2 in “기억을 걷다“, G2 in “소주한잔” and F#2 in “소주한잔 (Lower Key)“, or occasionally slightly push his larynx down in order to somewhat project better in his lower, causing minimal strain to his vocal cords, such as the “You Raise Me Up“.

His mixed voice is quite balanced in tone, having a good amount of chest and head voice distributed throughout his range. He is able to often keep a relaxed tone in his mixed voice without over compensating power by pushing his voice with his throat, but instead by using proper breath support allowing for a more steady approach in his upper range. He is consistently able to keep a lifted soft palate and support in his mixed voice up to A4, often producing resonance in this range, such as the F#4 in “For My Love“, G4 in “그녀에게 전해주오“, G#4’s in “오늘은 가지마“, and A4’s in “Heaven“, “아버지“, “끝사랑” and “니가 싫어“. Above A4 up to B4 generally he’s still able to keep a well placed sound with a somewhat balanced mixed voice, however he tends to let his larynx raise causing strain to his voice in that range, such as the Bb4’s in “Be Alright” and “Bolero“, and B4’s in ““.  Above B4, his voice becomes a lot thinner in tone and his throat becomes a lot tighter, with a lot more tension from his swallowing muscles constricting his larynx creating a more strained, throaty, muffled and screeched out sound with a more head-dominant mixed voice approach, such as he C5 in “흔한 노래“, C#5’s in “Mirotic” and “삼오야 밝은 달“, D5 in “서쪽하늘“, Eb5 in “잊혀진다는 거“, E5 in “천일동안“, and F#5 in “She’s Gone“.

His falsetto register is not as often used and he shows slightly less confidence in this register compared to the rest of his voice. Nonetheless, the falsetto register is generally produced with a better cord connection than most, producing a slightly fuller tone than the average airy falsetto and is often well placed in his head resonating chambers. However so, he still shows some issues with his transitions into falsetto, at times with pitch problems, or he may at times produce a more pushed out mask placed falsetto with a high larynx, such as the G5 in “The VIXX vs BtoB vs MYNAME high note battle” as well as the head voice C6 from the Cleopatra game. Oftentimes, he has shown a more relaxed approach with consistency up to C#5/D5 such as in “You’ll Be Alright” and “집으로 가는길“, and even at times with the “Oo (우)” vowel, good placement is kept up to F5, such as in “괜찮아요“. With the “Aye (애/에)” vowel, there are moments in which he shows issues with keeping an opened throat and thus produces a more constricted strained sound, such as the C5 in “뛰뛰빵빵” and the E5 in “You’re My Lady“.

Overall Eunkwang is very much in control of his voice within the C3 to A4 range, with consistent use of proper breath support and a well controlled sound dynamically, where he is able to choose airiness, softness in tone, or gradually add power to his voice, having a very well developed sense of musicality. That being said, outside that range he shows issues with consistency in tone production and that can eventually lead to vocal damage if the voice is to be overworked outside his supported range. One of the drawbacks of Eunkwang’s technique is the fact that he has been taught to use a larynx based vibrato, where his larynx is moved up and down creating an artificial vibrato which is essentially an inferior copy of a naturally produced vibrato, such as in “소주한잔“. Though this may cause some tension, it can be retaught and fixed. At times he also has issues with his posture which can create some upper body tension and he should be careful of such minor details as well as the bigger picture.

As a main vocalist, Eunkwang stands amongst the strongest of the strongest main vocalists in K-pop, specially having debuted in 2012, he’s not only been consistently able to keep his voice healthy and in shape, he has developed his voice to a degree that most other male idols have yet to achieve and for that he should be praised. In order to keep further improving himself as a vocalist, it should be advised that he takes care of the rest of his upper mixed range, addressing his larynx position and balance of his mixed voice. Another part that could be improved would be exploring the full potential of his falsetto register and developing it into a well connected head voice. As an overall musician, Eunkwang is not only a highly skilled vocalist, he is also able to play piano and should further use his ability as an instrumentalist to further his career as a musician, vocalist and entertainer.

Musicianship

Musically, Eunkwang would be what some would refer to as a karaoke singer. Many times that connotation isn’t exactly positive, but it is important to know that it’s better to be able to sing a song exactly as the original with precision and use dynamics to properly convey musical message, than to try and add runs and melodic changes that come off as showing off more so than actual enhancement of the musical message, which is what Eunkwang does. There are few times where he adds his own runs to certain performances, which may end up pitchy. Harmonically, however, Eunkwang, as the rest of the vocal line in BtoB, are quite familiar with adjusting each other’s volumes and blending their voices together, a skill that’s important to note when singing as part of a group. Eunkwang generally takes either the higher harmony or the melody in vocal harmonies, such as in “A Song For Mama” and “Christmas Carols Medley“.

Rating

Proficient Vocalist

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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About ahmin3

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

202 thoughts on “BtoB’s Vocal Analysis: Eunkwang

  1. I’d like to know if Eunkwang is straining at 0:27.

    He also hits a fairly high (or at least I think it’s high lol) note at 2:25. Is he also straining or using a larynx vibrato?

    Also (sorry), when Leo and Youngjae sing, it sounds like they lack “power” when I’m comparing them to Daehyun and Eunkwang.

    Like

    1. 0:27? Straining? No not at all, that was only E4 and a quick phrased F#4. Also the fairly high note is a C#5 that is actually mentioned within the analysis in the overall section as one of his strained mixed voice notes. Well because Leo and Youngjae are unable to produce resonance and become shouty when they mix higher.

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      1. Those are both mentioned within their analyses, both of those time stamps are highlighted and linked within these vocalists’ analyses. Eunkwang is less strained cause cause he can support and Leo can’t. Leo just sounds shouted because he is using his throat, Eunkwang is attempting to mix more properly.

        Like

  2. Hey, Ive got two questions.
    The first one is if Eunkwang is straining in the Movie refrain and if yes if its stylistically done, since he should be able to cleanly hit those notes, shouldnt he? At 1:28-1:31, 2:34-1:36 in the live version and 1:22-1:24, 2:26-2:30 and 3:17-3:19 in the studio version.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7QYuCt3MHo (live)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42A-rFdralM (studio)

    And my second question is, since you said Hyunsik would probably be rated around weak, same as Momo or Peniel for example, how come he sounds kinda more stable? or like he hits the notes more easily? Like does being able to hit notes well not count that much to vocal technique? I know Hyunsik’s voice sounding nicer to me personally is a factor as well, but that cant be the only reason, can it? Since many ppl expected him to be ranked quite high.
    I feel like I’m missing something important here lmao also i wasnt sure, if eunkwangs analysis is the right place to post the second question, i hope its alright…

    Like

    1. Those notes aren’t strained on purpose, they’re C5’s, Bb4’s and even Db5’s as well. Those are all notes outside of his supported range, which is why he can’t hit them without straining. As for your second question, it’s perfectly fine to ask that question here since it’s relevant to BtoB and Hyunsik won’t be analyzed. The thing is “stable” is a vague term that honestly means nothing because it could mean so many things. But more easily? Well? He is not hitting the notes well, if he were he’d be supporting them. He is hitting them, that’s the difference. Momo or Peniel would also be considered weak vocalists but the biggest difference is their leave a lot of space in between their vocal cords when they sing, so they barely connect and they barely stretch, so there’s a lot of airiness and so their range, volume and power are greatly limited. Hyunsik on the other hand connects his vocal cords a lot better, but instead of doing so in a relaxed manner with the correct amount of breath support, he squeezes his throat, he tightens up his vocal cords too much and pushes a lot of air. Even from the beginning of this new song Movie, his verse starts with throatiness even in that reasonably low and reasonably comfortable range. The difference between them and him is that he connects, so he can strain the notes that they can’t hit just yet. If they connected more, they’d also be able to strain those notes. But straining notes, squeezing your throat..that’s not hitting the notes well. It’s just they might be classified within the same rating but that doesn’t mean their vocal habits are the same. They have different reasons for being there but in the end it all comes down to not having support. Their lack of support is airy, his is more damaging. His is VERY tense, very throaty. Singing loud and high is not the same thing as singing well, because anybody could shout out high notes. Does that make sense?

      Like

      1. yeah, i think i understand that now, thank you! and i know very little about notes and vocal ranges and stuff so i guess i just naturally thought eunkwang should be able to hit those without straining since hes ranked as proficient ha
        is there any male idol that would be able to hit those notes and support them though? like would e.g. kyuhyun be able to do it? or are they really way too high for tenors below “great” even if the singer is far above average?

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      2. Kyuhyun is the only male idol who inconsistently could handle C5’s. None of the other ones could do it, nor have been able to do it thus far.

        Like

  3. Hey Ahmin ! This is the pre-choruses of BtoB’s song “Wow!”. Can you identify which register I’m singing here? It clearly isn’t a head voice, however I’m very confused if notes as high as G#4-B4 like here should be considered mixed voice, though unlike the original singers, I tried to bring more chest than them here, but the result sounds quasi similar to how they sang originally ?

    Also, can you point out the awkward register changes, off pitch moments ? For instance, I think I’m mostly singing falsetto here because the “NEOwa” is a drastic change in timbre compared to most of what I sing here, same thing with the “nun BIT”, which is very flat imo. Off pitch, there is one that’s clearer than the rest which is “seuTAKING”

    See it for yourself: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_l1EcV8hUkqbEZiaFZzUlhIUnZSV3VtUHB1WXBEaGN1T3BV/view

    In addition, do you think melodies like this are good to practice with ? If so, can you recommend me consonants and vowels that fit this melody ? It seems to be a good way to maintain my pitch precision and reinforce my falsetto register

    Like

    1. You didn’t switch registers at any point. You were singing in a mask placed unsupported head voice with too much air pressure the whole time. At no point did you switch, you stated pushing too much air that can be heard at the end of every one of your phrases. I think a melody that’s this fast and this high is definitely not the right one to practice for a beginner. If you want to practice a melody in head voice, id suggest “in the jungle, the wild jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” All in head voice, on an Oo vowel with a dropped jaw.

      Like

      1. Hey thanks for replying to me ! I have another question, do the vocalists (all of them) sing with as much air as I do? It seems that they all exhibit a lot of airiness in their singing even in the beginning of the 4th octave

        Like

      2. You mean the BtoB vocalists? No, Eunkwang doesn’t. Actually you’re being very broad with your question and honestly I haven’t really heard this specific song but generally no, none of the BtoB vocalists are that airy.

        Like

      3. Oh god no that was terrible of me ! I thought I wrote the word “BTS” in there! I meant the singers of BTS XD I think it’s obvious that BTOB’s vocalists aren’t airy, though they do use their throat a lot (Sungjae) and yell in addition (Hyunsik)

        Like

      4. Oh, and aside from that, can you tell me why that was more of a head voice, rather than a heady mix? I thought the head register isn’t supposed to be as breathy as mine to be qualified as head

        Like

      5. Well because for it to be a heady mix, you would have to have been mixing to begin with which you weren’t. You’re singing in your head register. You weren’t that breathy at all, you’re pretty connected, but tense throughout.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Tbh, I don’t think they receive vocal lesson anymore. I do really want them to know about their techniques, then look for a good vocal trainer who can strengthen their weakness/fix their bad habits (that have been stated here), or try to improve by themselves in a right way. I don’t know if cube’s vocal trainer is still the same, but i think the ones I’ve seen from a talent-searching show (?) weren’t that good. And when you ‘see’ the technique of other vocalists from cube who were not strong at all when started becoming trainees or debuting after some time, they didn’t improve that much, sadly :(.

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      1. No, not at all. They were very strained, all of it. Those notes are all way above their last supported notes in their respective supported ranges. There is no tenor in Kpop that I know who can support above C5/C#5.

        Like

    1. It stands and has been addressed in the comments before. Straining in the fifth octave as a tenor is hardly impressive and doesn’t change anything within the analysis.

      Like

      1. I listened and I totally hear what you mean. For some reason he was pushing with more chest voice and a lowered larynx but I’m not sure why he would.

        Like

  4. Hello! I was wondering about how well this cover of Minhyuk and Sungjae went: https://youtu.be/IvMvMUw0j_Y
    Here’s the question: Is Minhyuk able to mix his voice better than Hyunsik? I’m sorry if that’s a stupid question, considering I don’t know anything about vocals. It just seems that Minhyuk shows a better performance in singing here than other places, and not many people have seen this video.

    Like

    1. I have seen this video. There’s nothing about it that’s different from Sungjae’s analysis. For Minhyuk, what do you mean mixes better? Do you mean support? Cause if so, no, neither of them support properly at all. BUT Minhyuk is a tenor while Hyunsik is not so he does have more ease in a higher range than Hyunsik.

      Like

  5. So i was listening to btob singing apink new song and eunkwang did a good run around 0:30
    but i was wondering if it is actually a good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSNiCWEo-M0 i feel like eunkwang has been doing more runs lately like in the new immortal song peformence he did one at 2:07 he also did a growl i think i dont know whats its called at 2:54 i think thats the first time i hear him do that. sorry for my bad english and thanks for writing this analysis 🙂 ❤

    Like

    1. 0:37 the idea here was nice but the execution started to get funky as he added more notes and got kinda off key. 2:07 It’s almost like a trill, but it’s just like push on the notes. I did notice in the new IS2 performance that he’s been doing more runs indeed. 2:54 yeah I hear a growl, it’s not too strong though.

      Like

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