F2 ~ A5 (3 Octaves & 2 notes)
B2/C3 ~ B4/C5
B2/C3 ~ G5/G#5 (with head voice)
- Able to support his voice consistently
- Huge improvement shown from his debut days until now
- Mixed voice has great placement
- Resonance can be produced as high as C5/C#5
- Lower range shows support down to B2
- Head voice is very well connected and often resonant
- Head voice support is heard up to G5/G#5
- Vocal runs are often smooth, articulate and accurate
- Column of sound throughout instrument is quite even
- Vowel sounds are often too narrow
- Occasional nasality can be present
- Lower range becomes airy below B2
- Mixed voice shows inconsistency often due to questionable stylistic choices
- Head voice becomes pushed above G#5
- Often improper shoulder posture while singing
- Compresses sound of his voice in his upper range
- Lower register: Shown considerable improvement since but would still be considered his least developed register. He often sings with a softer approach in his lower range. Though support may be used, his vocal cords remain weaker as he descends lower in range.
- Mixed register: Shown huge improvement since debut. Able to produce resonance from the time of debut, but has since changed the way he plays around with his resonators. Mixed voice can be resonant even as high as C#5 at times, even though the consistency is questionable.
- Upper register: Always has opted for a head voice over falsetto. Since his debut, he used a very well-connected head voice. Transitions have always been fairly smooth but with the lightening up of his instrument, he was able to create a much better evenness from his mix to his head voice.
As soon as Park Hyoshin debuted, his style was greatly influenced by soul music. He would emulate a sound that wasn’t natural to his voice to sound fuller and thicker. Not only that, he would also add vocal runs and embellishments to his vocal performances. As he aged and matured, the complexity and accuracy of his runs improved greatly as well. Since his debut, he’s been able to manage singing very simple trills and mid speed runs with decent separation of pitch and accuracy, such as the runs in “해줄수없는일” and “동경” but whenever runs would get faster and more complex, with more notes to be sung within less time, he would skip through notes without clearly hitting them all and thus sound quite sloppy in his delivery, as heard in “Run To You.”
Gradually he improved his ability to sing runs by emulating the runs of other vocalists as well as learning to hear simpler runs before attempting more complex ones. This can be heard in his duet with veteran vocalist Ann where she sings a simple run to end her vocal line in “A Whole New World,” and Park Hyoshin follows shortly after singing the same pattern of notes. This helped him clean up his approach to runs and with the change in placement in his voice, it helped him carry less weight in his mix. With the lighter approach, his voice became more flexible so he is able to perform runs with a lot more ease, often transitioning into his head voice with just as much ease. His more complex runs can be heard in “해줄 수 없는 일,” “좋은 사람,” “Der Letzte Tanz,” “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever,” and “It’s Gonna Be Rolling.”
One of the most peculiar and often discussed things amongst the public happens to be Park Hyoshin’s voice type. Due to a huge misconception, it is often believed that the thicker the tone of the voice, the lower the person’s voice is. However the issue with trying to give someone a voice type based off of the tone quality of the voice is that in pop music, tone is often stylistically changed. A person may have a husky quality to their voice due to stylistic reasons, natural causes or even improper technique. So oftentimes Park Hyoshin is mislabelled as a baritone because people believe that a baritone has a “thick voice,” and therefore anybody with a thick voice must be a baritone.
Contrary to common belief, one’s voice type should be found by looking at their passaggi, instead of their tone quality. The tone quality will tell the listener the specific fach of a vocalist, however the main aspect of one’s voice type is mostly found by the natural passaggi. So the notes in which the voice naturally switches in tone quality and muscle coordination from chest voice to mixed voice and from mixed voice to head voice. Thus although it may have been believed that Park Hyoshin was a baritone, he lacks the bass-quality in the second octave portion of his range. His mixed voice doesn’t start until about D4, which indicates that his voice sits much higher than even a lyric baritone, whose mixed voice starts around B3. As such Park Hyoshin is and has always been a tenor who, due to the large size of his voice and its natural thickness, seems more likely to be a full lyric tenor.
However even his thickness was also quite closely related to his technique. When he debuted, he would often sing in a range where usually a tenor would sing. His debut song “해줄 수 없는 일” actually peaks at B4 quite a few times while only going down to B2, which sits quite comfortably within a tenor range but would be very high for a baritone. His approach to singing when he first debuted and for about 7 years of his career mainly revolved around pulling his chest voice as high as he could while placing the sound quite low in his chest even in his upper mixed voice, as well as singing with an unnatural pushed down larynx position. This resulted in a heavier sound in his higher notes. He also would often lower his larynx and push the sound of his voice back into his throat for his lower range, so his lower notes would sound thicker and lower than they actually were. He would often sound quite muffled and not project even around E3, which if he were a baritone would be far too high for him to have issues with projecting in his lower range.
Placement plays a very important role in the quality of one’s voice. If someone uses a chest placement in their voice, their sound will have more bass overtones and therefore sound thicker and lower. If one’s chest voice is placed too low in the chest and then there’s a sudden change in placement as they go up to their upper range, there seems to be a very large gap in their voice. However if the lower range is placed slightly higher, moving from the chest voice to the mixed voice and to the head voice can become much easier. If the placement of sound is closer, then the gap between the notes sounds much narrower and the voice is a lot freer to move. This was the case with Park Hyoshin’s change in technique, one of the biggest changes in how he sings.
Since the beginning of his career, he would use a very thick approach to his chest voice. He would often sing with a lowered larynx, so the sound of his chest voice would come off muffled and artificially thick. He would let his low larynx accompany even notes as high as E3, so his lower range was often very quiet and would not project properly at all. This can be heard when listening to the B2’s in “해줄 수 없는 일” as well as the E3’s in “A Whole New World.” However as his technique progressed over the years and his stylistic choices became less focused on thick singing, he started to employ a much lighter approach to his voice and higher placement in his singing. So notes that were once barely projected would now sound a lot more forward and present, without sounding too thick or pushed.
Even if is singing as low as B2, as he does now in “해줄 수 없는 일,” even though the notes are just as low as they’ve always been, the sound is much clearer and he’s able to project his voice with a lot more ease. This can also be heard with the E3’s in “내가 너의 곁에 잠시 살았다는걸,”D3’s in “Der Letzte Tanz,” C#3’s in “아프고 아픈 이름,” “My Way,” “사랑합니다,” “All I Ask Of You,”and C3’s in “Listen,” ” and “눈의꽃.” This also showed very good improvement in the connection of his vocal cords and the position of his larynx. Instead of pushing it down, he learned to keep it at a higher neutral position so that he wouldn’t closed his throat and so his muscles were able to develop better in his chest voice. Even when support isn’t as strong, he doesn’t push his larynx down as much, as heard with the Bb2 in “Happy Together.” Below that range though he still shows little to no support, as heard with the G#2’s in “All I Ask Of You,” as well as the F#2’s in “취중진담.” Despite the lack of support and connection in his vocal cords, he doesn’t push his larynx down nearly as much which is much healthier and strains his vocal cords a lot less.
This overall change in placement is also very noticeable in his mixed voice. However instead of losing the chesty quality he is known for, he is now able to project with a lot less weight in his voice but still remains quite powerful and is able to chose when to add more chest or less in his mix. When he first debuted, his approach to singing would be by pulling his chest voice as high as possible even in his mix. Thankfully, Park Hyoshin was able to grasp the concept of proper breath support without being taught to sing. This helped him be able to sing with natural ease even if his technique wasn’t exactly proper. So as high as F#4, he was able to produce resonance, as heard in “Run To You.” In 2007, he claims to have wanted to change his approach and through the years, one can hear the gradual change in the sound of his voice when he sings.
When comparing the way he approaches his upper mixed voice range, such as the B4’s from “해줄 수 없는 일” or the A4’s from “Run To You” to the B4’s in “좋은 사람” or the A4’s in “Der Letzte Tanz,” the change is actually quite drastic. Most of the change happened because instead of pulling the sound from his chest, Hyoshin learned to use the sound a lot more forward and lean it into his mask. The result is a much lighter approach which does not take away power from his voice and actually allows for him to sing higher passages with a lot more ease and a lot less strain. However the lack of chestiness in his mix has also narrowed the quality of his resonance. Whereas before his resonance would often come off as full and heavy, now it’s become a lot brighter. The change in placement added a lot more treble overtones to his singing, which make him sound a lot lighter.
Resonance in his mixed voice is produced quite often. The biggest change happened above G#4/A4. Although support was present that high, the sound was so thick and pushed that he would stay stuck in his throat the higher he went. However the way he sings now is so much brighter than he has to use a lot less air pressure to sing. With the amount of natural weight his voice has and the size of it being naturally large, when he sings with full power he is able to fill up his voice with enormous volume. It’s actually quite impressive how well controlled the dynamics and placement are in his voice. He can go from a very light approach in phrasing G#4’s such as in “추억은 사랑을 닮아,” to a much thicker and fuller sound on the same exact note, such as in “Der Letzte Tanz.”
Dynamically he is very much in control of his voice. On top of that he has great stamina and is able to sing a musical phrase without taking many breaths. One very famous song is “야생화 (Wildflower)” where the climax of the song goes from G4 to Bb4 to C5, with a descending run at the end. This lasts for a full 12 seconds, all in one breath. Considering how high it is, most people would struggle to manage the air to keep going higher and higher without running out. Most vocalists who sing this line, namely Bada and Kyuhyun, add a pause between the last two notes so that they can catch their breath. Hyoshin never does so. Resonance in his mix can be heard also in the F#4’s in “My Way,” G4’s in “좋은 사람,” G#4’s in “아프고 아픈 이름,” A4’s in “It’s Gonna Be Rolling” and “못해,” Bb4’s in “Gift,” “Home,” B4’s in “It’s Gonna Be Rolling,” and C5’s in “사랑 사랑 사랑,” “Listen” and “야생화.”
As time passed, raspiness has replaced the known huskiness of his voice. To an extent the raspy quality of his voice is somewhat stylistic but also natural. He can go from phrasing raspy Bb4’s in one song without necessarily hurting his throat, as heard in “숨,” to producing sustained and resonant Bb4’s on a different song in the same night, as heard in “Happy Together.” At times his stylistic choices may make one question his consistency, but the quality of his singing up to C5 is completely his choice. Be it headiness, higher placement or even nasality. He does have the tendency to narrow his vowel sounds and not open his mouth much depending on the song, but when singing musicals he has very good diction and nasality is rarely present, showing even more control and awareness of how he wishes to sound. There is an added pressure in his mix that somewhat compresses the sound. He tends to use too much compression of his vocal cords at times and have some neck tension as well, which although is minimized by his placement, can still be harmful. Although resonance has been heard up to C#5, the consistency is questionable and he tends to sing with a high larynx above C5.
The one register where very little change can be heard is his head voice. Hyoshin was never one to use falsetto often and has always had a very good idea of how to use his voice. His transitions to head voice have always been quite smooth and he never struggles with pitch accuracy. His head voice did improve in development, it became richer, fuller and resonance has been increased, but he had the least bad habits in his voice. His head voice was also his most agile register when he first debuted. Moments of support in his head voice can be heard with the B4’s in “Baby Baby,” C5’s in “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” D5’s in “동경,” E5’s in “해줄 수 없는 걸,” “사랑 사랑 사랑,” “Run To You,” and “그곳에 서서” F#5’s in “Der Letzte Tanz” and “The Dreamer,” and even G#5’s in “좋은 사람.” The highest head note he’s peaked at is an A5 in a live performance of “해줄 수 없는 일,” where his head placement remained good throughout but there is an added pushing to his approach that caused him to lose support in that range.
Unfortunately as an artist Park Hyoshin did have to make a sacrifice, which was losing the sound he was known and loved for. This was not met with the best reaction from his fans, as many also demanded him to go back to his old ways. However he was very professional about his choices. His change in technique are very commendable because he wasn’t taught to do it; he did it on his own. He changed how he sang because he felt the need the need to do so and the result was a much more evened out instrument. His change in placement and changing his larynx position allowed him to have an even scale from the bottom to the top of his range, which currently sounds a lot more natural to his actual voice. He isn’t trying to sound like his voice is thicker than it actually is. He doesn’t need to use a lot of heavy low placement to show power in his voice. Instead of losing power, he gained ease and developed a much healthier approach to his singing. There’s still room for improvement however if he chooses to further develop his lower range or his head voice, or manage the tension above C5 in his mix.
Park Hyoshin as a vocalist always took the liberty of performing other vocalists’ songs and adding his own musical ideas to them. However as time progressed, he matured into a much more confident vocalist over the years. By maturing, he was able to establish his musical identity with a lot more conviction. Considering how long his career is, performing the same songs over and over again can become quite tedious. So when he became more than a ballad singer and developed his songwriting skills, he became a lot more comfortable with changing the adlibs of many of his classic songs, showing that he is not afraid to perform the same song over the years with different melodic ideas and improvisations throughout. He has shown that he can break a song down into a clean acoustic version or even make a song much more complex than initially thought.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Vocal Range Video(s)
Videos by: HS BEYON
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)