Jung Dongha’s Vocal Analysis

jungdongha

Vocal Range

F#2 ~ C#6 (3 Octaves, 3 notes & 1 semitone)

Supported Range

A2/Bb2 ~ Bb4/B4

A2/Bb2 ~ A5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Full Lyric Tenor

Strengths/Achievements

  • Arguably the most well balanced male vocalist in K-pop
  • Able to support his head voice consistently with head resonance
  • Head voice is supported up to A5
  • Mixed voice is supported and resonant up until Bb4/B4
  • Has sung well placed notes above his supported range
  • Chooses between style and technique at will, mostly in control of his voice
  • Shown huge improvement over the years, as well as work ethic
  • Lower range has improved immensely in development and support
  • Able to bring support from his chest voice down to A2/Bb2
  • Able to execute generally precise slow to medium-tempo vocal runs
  • Consistent with support up to B4 when phrasing instead of sustaining
  • Every register has improved, as well as the connection
  • Learned to lighten up and brighten up his tone over the years for better resonance/projection/ease

Weaknesses

  • Notes above Bb4/B4 in his mix tend to become overly gritty and throaty
  • Sustained B4’s can become throaty
  • Lower range below A2 lacks support and connection
  • Head voice can become pushed above A5
  • Still has some bad habits with throatiness that can linger and become worse due to fatigue

Registers

  • Lower register: Very well developed in range and tone quality. As a tenor he is able to maintain his voice projected, his vocal cords connected and his chest voice well placed as low as A2/Bb2 consistently. Doesn’t usually sing with a lowered larynx.
  • Mixed register: Resonance is produced consistently throughout his range. He is able to mix with much technique now than he used to, lightening up and allowing his voice to sing up to Bb4 with a clean technique. Resonance and good placement are kept above that as well.
  • Upper register: Huge improvement, mostly in usage, development and even confidence. Head voice is almost always connected, dynamically controlled, head placed and supported. Able to maintain support in his head voice up to A5.

Agility

As a rock singer, Jung Dongha doesn’t usually attempt anything that’s too vocally challenging when it comes to vocal runs. It is quite rare to hear him adding runs to his vocal performances, as he would fall more under the category of a belter instead of a vocal embellisher. Nonetheless he has shown many times that he possesses enough control of his vocal cords to be able to sing through a number of different notes within one vowel sound in one breath, the definition of a vocal run. His runs do tend to be slowed down and mostly simple rhythmic, but the muscle coordination is clear. In other words, every note is sung individually while connected smoothly in one legato line. He seems mostly comfortable with runs in his head voice, as most instances of him attempting runs happen to be when he sings in his head voice, such as  in “꽃이 핀다,” “슬픈 표정 하지말아요” and “아씨.” More complex runs can become quite pitchy though, as heard in “비상.”

Overall analysis

While most artists around the world start their careers often in their teens or in their early 20’s, Jung Dongha is an exception to this rule. Although being of similar age to many other veteran vocalists in the industry, his career didn’t start until 2005 at the age of 25, long after his military days, when he debuted as the 9th vocalist of the legendary band Boohwal. To date, he is the vocalist to have stayed the longest with the band, from 2005 until 2014 when he finally left and went onto pursue his solo career. His preferred musical genre lies in the rock scene, where he takes most of his influences and seems most comfortable. Nonetheless he is not limited to that genre and has performed with enough flexibility with genres that range from Bossa Nova to Latin. His voice is naturally weighty and thick, but with a bright quality from his technique. The mature quality of his voice added to the chest-dominant mixed voice approach he uses only accentuates to natural thickness of his voice. His voice type would most likely fall under the full lyric tenor fach.

As soon as he debuted, Jung Dongha was able to showcase at least the minimum adequate understanding of vocal technique. It is unknown whether he did receive vocal training or not prior to his debut with Boohwal, but he was able to produce resonance from the beginning and had already grasped the concept of breath support quite easily. However this breath support didn’t extent very far and so parts of his range seemed quite neglected. This would show whenever he would sing lower than E3, higher than G#4/A4 and when he would mostly avoid singing in his upper register at all.

His lower range when he first debuted was quite poorly developed, where his vocal cords didn’t seem to be strong enough to maintain tone as he reached the lower portion of the third octave of the piano, such as in “사랑할수록.” As the years passed, however, he made massive improvement is his approach to his lower. He learned to truly place his voice in his mask and chest resonators throughout his lower range, being able to easily project as low as A2 with proper support and a neutral larynx. This happened because his chest voice muscles, or his thyroarytenoid muscles, were exercised and thus were able to be developed healthily, allowing him to go from a very unclear and airy quality in his lower range, to a very strong and well projected sound, as heard with the A2’s in “슬픈 표정 하지말아요” and Bb2’s in “취중진담” and “사랑했지만,” as well as the C3’s in “거위의꿈.” Despite having developed his lower range exceptionally well for a tenor, he knows when to pull back his sound and choose a certain amount of airiness while still maintaining proper support. This is done for stylistic reasons, as heard in “보고싶다.” When singing below A2 however there is still a tendency for him to lose support and become fairly airy, as heard with the G2’s in “골목길” and F#2’s in “취중진담.”

His mixed voice is another area where he’s shown vast improvement throughout the years. From his debut days, he has always used a mostly chest dominant mixed voice. This allowed him to always have very good chest placement in the lower portion of his mix voice. He’s never really had issues managing air into his vocal cords, while maintaining his soft palate lifted. As such, combining an open throat with no nasality in placement, and wise use of his chest resonators, he has always been able to produce resonance around the E4 ~ G#4/A4 range. However support and resonance would become inconsistent whenever he’d start singing up to G#4, because of the excessive amount of compression in his throat muscles. Due to the nature of his singing style, often rock singers believe that the harsher and more shouty the quality of one’s singing is, the more “rock-like” it becomes. However there is a healthy way to use chestiness and harshness in one’s voice, and an unhealthy way. Throughout a good amount of his career in Boohwal, Dongha maintained a stagnant approach to his mixed voice. He would often sing with proper support, but his sound would be placed too low in his chest and so it wouldn’t bloom as he ascended in range. Added with the amount of throat tension he had, he would often strain his voice as he sang higher. This can be heard in “추억이면,” “사랑할수록,” and “관화문 연가.”

When comparing his early years to 2012 and 2013, his singing approach had already improvement in his placement, but the throat tension was still quite evident, as heard with the G#4’s in “비상,” A4’s in “정때문에” and Bb4’s in “날 버린 남자.” However suddenly in 2014, there was a very drastic change in the way he approached singing in his mixed voice. Instead of placing the sound almost entirely in his chest, he learned to open up his mask resonators so that he could brighten up his placement while still maintaining his signature thickness. This allowed him to sing with much more ease in his mixed voice. Not only that, but he also greatly minimized the amount of compression in his whenever he’d sing higher. So he went from inconsistency with supporting A4’s and G#4’s, to being able to produce resonance up to Bb4/B4. Examples of this include his G4’s in “미워도 다시 한번,” “동반자,” G#4’s in “사랑했지만,” his A4’s in “슬픈 표정 하지말아요,” his Bb4’s in “나와 같다면,” “사랑했지만,” “내 사랑 내 곁에,” as well as his B4’s in “어쩌다 마주친 그대,” “사랑했지만” and “아씨.” Despite his improvement, there’s still a portion of his range where his throatiness remains. He still tends to sound quite rough and throaty when sustaining B4’s or any note above that. His phrased B4’s tend to be quite relaxed, even occasionally his C5’s can be well placed and somewhat relaxed, such as in “거위의 꿈” and “내 사랑 내곁에.” However most notes around the C5 range and above still sound quite strained, as heard in the C5’s in “보고싶다,” “,” “바람이려요,” and the C#5’s in “모두 다 사랑하리,” “주문 (MIROTIC)” and “제발.”

Most notably the register where he seems to have shown the most improvement throughout the years is his head voice. It was rather uncommon for Dongha to sing with his head voice prior to 2014, where he would often just be heard belting in most of his vocal performances. One example of his head voice can be heard in “꽃밭에서” where proper head placement is present and connection is as well, but the muscles seemed relatively under explored. However past 2014 he would often add passages of head voice into many of his vocal performances. This can be heard below C5, such as in “보고 싶다” and “사랑했지만,” as well as in the F#5’s in “꽃이 핀다,” and “나와 같다면,” G5’s in “슬픈 표정하지말아요,” and A5’s in “아씨.”  He not only is able to produce a supported and resonant head voice, he could also choose to add his stylistic rock roughness into his sound at will, going from a clean resonant head voice note, to a throaty and harsh sound within the same exact note. Examples of that include his sustained E5’s  in “모두 다 사랑하리,” and in “빗물,” as well as the F5 in “골목길.” Instances of him going above A5 are rare, his only few times being during a high note battle with 4Men’s Shin Yongjae, where he went onto quite pushed notes, such as B5 and C#6, as well as one performance where he seems to have some sort of tension when singing as high as Bb5, as heard in “골목길.” Nonetheless his head voice is extremely well developed for a male, as he rarely ever chooses to sing in falsetto and he shows great control of his head voice to an extent most tenors can’t handle at all.

Although vast improvement has been made throughout his career in his technique, Jung Dongha is only human. When fatigued, he is likely to fall back into old bad habits and tends to become quite throaty even within his previously established supported range. In instances such as the Bb4’s in “사랑” and “발걸음,” as well as A4’s in “꽃이 핀다,” a rough throaty quality coming from him pushing his voice despite being noticeably tired cause him to strain his voice on days where he should most likely rest. However this can happen to any vocalist on a rough period of little rest and hectic schedules, as he’s shown most of the time he’s able to perform with no strain in said range when in good health. His technique is often also controlled, as he’s able to musically use his voice to add whatever emotions he chooses to his singing. He can create smooth, head voice transitions during softer choruses and then allow his mixed voice to bloom in others, to accentuate the dynamics in a song. He also can add throatiness for rock purposes at will, even being able to play with his placement in his head voice, going from head to mask placement, such as in “.” On top of it all, he shows great control of pitch and a healthy vibrato when in his supported range. One bad habit he seems to have is not opening his mouth enough sometimes when enunciating words a bit too speech-like.

Jung Dongha is arguably the most well developed male vocalist currently active in the K-pop music industry. He is a professional and knowing he was leaving his band Boohwal in 2014, made serious improvements in his overall vocal development and technique. He showed great professionalism and true passion for his craft, showing that improvement can happen anytime, at any age, as long as the right amount of practice is done correctly. His dedication allowed him to have a voice that’s supported, even and connected throughout all registers, where he’s able to control most notes he sings with little to no strain and is able to perform a variety of genres while still staying true to his artistry. It is advised that he maintain a healthy schedule so as not fall back into old bad habits, as well as working on the rest of his mixed voice to eliminate his bad habits once and for all.

Musicianship

Throughout the years Jung Dongha has grown immensely when it comes to his own unique color and identity as a musician. He was able to stay together with Boohwal for years as their lead singer, but then also was able to grow and find his own character. He does maintain his musical identity as being a rock singer most of all, but nonetheless he remains flexible in his style. He has clear control of his voice and is able to arrange songs so that he can add any upper belting he wishes, as well as more recently showcasing his head voice many times during his vocal performances. On top of it all, he is able to use gritty vocal qualities present in rock singing as he wishes, being able to create rougher vocal qualities without losing the control of his instrument.

Rating

Great to Excellent Vocalist

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: AizawaAya

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

166 thoughts on “Jung Dongha’s Vocal Analysis

  1. I don’t understand about vocal technique but I like to read your analysis. I watch dongha old video 2005-2009 his voice so soft and husky. Then on 2012 his voice a bit rough and powerful and start 2014 getting more powerful and like musical actor. Do you know why dongha voice changed ? Is it because his technique getting better? I feel confused with his voice, sometime his voice seems deep and husky on “The flight” “Goose Dream” but on “love them all” “bogoshipda” his voice more light, does it was part of vocal technique?
    I hope you understand my question.
    Thanks for appreciated dongha talent^^

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    1. Why his voice changed? Because his technique changed, so the quality of his singing changed. It’s explained within the analysis really.

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    1. He did not strain from that portion of the song. His singing wasn’t rough really. Sometimes it was rough on like very specific moments, like 2:44 when he growled but that’s about it. 3:32 is a Eb5 in head voice.

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    2. That was a day after his concert i think he is more confortable with his head voice than other register bc even if he pushes his voice out due to fatigue it comes out cool and not very unpleasant to hear like pushing in mixed register
      Ironically lately he always record is2 after having concert since his tour still going 2years long tour lol
      And he recorded again for is2 after concert agai’ it Will be out next saturday
      I noticed he kepps drinking water after every song doing concert
      Does it help with keeping one’s voice in good condition?

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      1. yes i did but since all i understand about vocal techniche is support, the rest is like trying to read greek lol, and since their supported range is almost the same for both of them, i guess it’s not the support what makes the difference between them, right?

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      2. Well Jung Dongha has a fairly more developed head voice and lower range. A tenor who has A2 in his chest voice and A5 in his head voice? Now that’s something to be quite complimented. All Hyoshin has going for him is agility and his mixed voice up to C5, but a semitone isn’t enough to beat just everything else Dongha has. Dongha just has a much more well rounded instrument. Keep in mind both of them do some questionable things for stylistic purposes.

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      3. So Dongha is like the full package and Hyoshin is the “only has agility and C5s”? Now I get it, I really thought they were kinda even lol both of them are really awesome vocalists tho ❤ thanks ahmin! 😀

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      1. Again I’d really appreciate it next time if you were more specific cause when you say beginning, you could mean the first 10 seconds, the first 30 seconds, the first minute…and I’m not sure how long I’m supposed to listen to it for. I don’t believe he was lowering his larynx, maybe slightly but mostly I just hear chest placement.

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  2. sorry am sure he is a baritone
    cuz his speaking voice not like a tenor and more lower then .he just
    have a nice range like abaritone can hit a high c in belt
    sorry about that but the voice types is about the thickness of the tone he speaking from G2 to A2 notes like mine this why we feel he sound is very harshy you should corrected that with my respect for yours nice web 🙂

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    1. I really would suggest you read Park Hyoshin’s vocal analysis because I dedicated three paragraphs of the overall analysis section of that analysis to explain how voice types work and how Park Hyoshin is not a baritone even though people have this crazy misconception that “thick voice” = baritone.
      Thickness of the voice does not determine one’s voice type. The fact that Jung Dongha has a thick voice is what makes him a full lyric tenor as opposed to a light lyric tenor, but voice types are determined by passaggi. Jung Dongha’s passaggi lie in the tenor range, he does not mix anywhere near B3, his mixed voice starts around D4 which is a tenor passaggio. He would have to have much lower passaggi to be a baritone and his voice would have to sit much lower. Baritones are belting around Eb4 ~ G4 or higher, but Jung Dongha’s real belting range starts at like F#4, below that he is barely belting because that’s just not where his voice lies. He does not have baritone passaggi, simply. If his passaggi lie in a tenor range, he is a tenor. Thickness of tone only indicates that he’s a full lyric tenor or a thicker type of tenor, not that he’s a baritone. If you were familiar with baritones you would know many baritones sound light and youthful because they’re lyric voices, but their passaggi are low and their voices lie in a low range.

      @1:40
      The range he was speaking in was around B2 ~ F3, which sounds thick but is much higher than me or you as a baritone would speak. Baritones that I know stay much closer to A2 when they speak and even sometimes dip down to F2 or lower. He didn’t go below B2 when speaking so your reasoning that his speaking voice matches that of a baritone or that his voice is thick like a baritone’s, therefore he is a baritone is a bit flawed. You should really check your music theory before making such wild claims because there’s nothing here to be corrected, he is a tenor, not a baritone. You may be a baritone, but he is not. I respect you voicing out your opinion but please make sure to check your facts before making such claims.

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  3. ahmin i know the voice types by what the layrnx postation is. this why humans named bass/bari/tenor
    like instruments. high placed=tenor/soprano . middle placed=baritone/mezzo soprano.
    low placed=bass/contralto
    as abritone try to miming k.will/
    park hyoshin/ailee speaking you
    will notice your layrnx jumped up as baritone this mean they are
    a true tenors/sopranos what ever
    full or light lyric or spinto.
    now try miming dongha/rain/hyori speaking you will notice your larynx stayed in
    same place as you have in middle
    this mean they are true baritones
    and mezzo
    now trying to miming yuri (snsd)/axel rose speaking you will notice your layrnx droped down this meaning bass/contralto voice
    now about jung dongha speaking notes true i was mistaked but he stayed in b2 very close to mine speaking and they are some
    baritones with high passaggi his
    range lie between b2 to b4 nor
    a2 to a4 like typical baritone nor
    c3 to c5 like tenor and some high tenors have range from d3 to d5
    i know you are
    very nice analyser but you are
    abit not good in opratic subtypes
    i hope i was help
    now let me show the fact why dongha fit baritone type more then full lyric tenor:
    1. his volume output more bigger then
    2. his low notes from g2 to c3 are manly and very comfort more stronger then
    full tenors
    3. his high from g4 to c5 sound become screamy more then
    4.his tone is way darker in color
    similar to bi/rain and jhon park who are mature baritones
    way darker then k.will or park hyoshin.

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    1. No it’s not about the larynx position, it’s about the size and thickness of the vocal cords. Your larynx shouldn’t move when you sing, if your larynx is jumping up, you’re doing something wrong. Your logic is new to me and honestly it doesn’t make much sense because the larynx is supposed to remain neutral, you mimicking someone’s singing voice will not tell you their voice type. Again you have to listen to their passaggi. Rain is a baritone indeed but Jung Dongha is not. Yuri is a soprano, a very undertrained soprano. Contraltos are very thick female voices, they sound almost manly. A real contralto is someone like Ana Carolina, look her up and you’ll hear the difference. Jung Dongha has a well trained lower range but for a vocalist of his caliber, if he were a baritone, he would be able to handle F2’s with a lot better projection and technique. Again stop comparing his speaking voice to yours since he is mostly speaking in the third octave which contradicts your point. I think you’re basing of your voice types off of wikipedia, correct me if I’m wrong.
      1. Because he’s a full lyric. Lyric baritones aren’t always louder than tenors, I don’t know who told you that.
      2. That’s because he uses a very chesty mixed voice, his voice still lies in that range with a lot more natural ease than someone like Hyunmin or Hwanhee who sound like they’re singing above their natural limit.
      4. He uses a chesty mix so he sounds thicker than other tenors with more balanced mixed voices. Bi and John Park have a lot lower placed voices, their passaggi are much lower than Jung Dongha.

      I’m sorry but your points are limited to textbook singing and you’re ignoring the fact that in contemporary singing mixing technique and changes in placement can make vocalists with the same voice type sound very different from one another. You’re basing this off of tone which is very flawed if you’re ignoring their passaggi. A voice type is heard with the passaggi, that’s the most reliable way to identify someone’s voice. You just said Yuri is a contralto and you’re trying to tell me we are not good at identifying voice types? ._. I have no problems admitting when I’m wrong and I do have issues telling girls apart at times but trust me, I know how to tell a tenor and a baritone apart. That’s my speciality. Jung Dongha is a tenor, a chesty and thick tenor, with passaggi at around D4 and G4. Your points all are interesting but you’re ignoring technique and simply failing to see the bigger picture. None of your points so far stand. Can you argue that his passaggi are the same as John Park and Rain? Cause that’s the only way you can prove he’s a baritone. I appreciate what you’re saying, I just think you’re misinformed.

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  4. How is jung dongha’s on today immortal song performance?

    I heard he sang a lot with low notes. Start 00:42~02.00. What the lowest notes he hit?
    And on the climax start 4.05 does he strain? What the note he hit on 5.03.
    Sorry for so many question, thanks if you had a time to reply me ^^

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    1. He actually didn’t sing that low at all throughout the performance. 1:13 I heard D3 and it was very brief and soft, he was barely singing low. I heard a couple of other D3’s, but he didn’t really go below that. 1:48 A2 1:52 A2 again, those were kind of soft but not bad. A bit too much vocal fry. That’s the only time he went below D3. 4:11 yeah he strains cause he hit C5, which he can’t really support. 4:21 those phrased C5’s aren’t bad though. 5:03 Bb4, which could’ve been much more relaxed but relatively well placed.

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  5. i hope they will stop comparing sohyang and dongha ,sohyang is way better plus their choices are different ,as rock singer dongha makes many stylistic choices while sohyang doesn’t ,plus nowdays some expects tenors to sing like sopranos ,so if they don’t hit very high note they are not good enough ,that’s why many doesn’t think dongha is good singer and always he get ranked low in korean sites

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    1. The analysis said that jdh is the most balanced male singer in low ,mix,upper range.will you read the passage?Please responsible for your words.

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    2. If you don’t want others to stop comparing those two, why would you make a statement that ‘sohyang is way better’? And people do think that Jung Dongha is a great singer, he is one of the five long-term Kings in the King of Masked Singers and has all that records in Immortal Songs 2, it’s just that his songs are not well-known and thus he doesn’t have the fame that is proportionate to his competence so that’s why he is ranked quite low. Also, most of the rankings are outdated and do not reflect his vast improvements in last three years at all.

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  6. lol it’s funny how some korean think dongha try to fake his voice and make different ,and he imitate different tones in one performance but actuallt he has three fairly developed registers and korean expect him to sound the same in each register ,he lost many fans bc his voice changed and not as husky as before,he still try to sound husky from time to time after he improved his techniques to approach old fans again

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  7. How is jung dongha in this video? I tought he mostly sing with head voice. Is it good? I love it dongha’s cover “Ain’t no shunshine”

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    1. You know this performance is mentioned in the analysis, right? 0:39 is supported, 3:01 carried the throatiness that he has when he sustains higher belts.

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  8. He seems more like Flat Out Great to me. He reminds be of Lena Park. Without Head Voice, he has the head supported range of a Good / Great. Does his Head Voice Give him that much more of a boost?

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    1. His lower range is nothing to scoff at, but his head voice is pretty impressive too. His mix is comparatively better than hers for his voice type.

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  9. Hi again~ I’ve been listening to him a lot lately, and coming back to this page just as much… So I have a quick question!

    “It was rather uncommon for Dongha to sing with his head voice prior to 2014, where he would often just be heard belting in most of his vocal performances.”
    So belting is only possible in mixed voice, right?
    (mixed voice and head voice differences just clicked with me haha (at least for his voice…))

    Also are there any performances of Dongha using falsetto that you’ve come across? He uses a lot of head voice, but I can’t think of any falsetto from him? I doubt you’d know right off the top of your head though, so it’s cool if you can’t think of any examples haha.

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    1. Belting is a synonym to mixed voice, most of the time belting means a chest dominant mixed voice. I can’t think of any off of the top of my head unfortunately. Sorry.

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