Category Archives: Miscellaneous Vocal Posts

Irene Bae on Quora Answers (Quick post)

Hi guys. Are y’all good? Are y’all healthy? I hope you all can be happy in your life achievements and whatnot. Recently it’s come to my attention that someone by the username of Irene Bae has been on Quora giving answers claiming they co-own KpopVocalAnalysis and that they know me. I don’t know who this person is. This blog is owned by me and Pandayeu only. Anyone else who claims to own this, isn’t telling the truth. So please beware of these people.

This is their profile by the way:

Anyway stay healthy and don’t forget to love others and yourself. Be true to yourself, have courage and be kind.


[Ahmin] What I’ve been up to

Hi guys. I know that this blog isn’t getting as much traffic as it used because we haven’t been actively posting on it anymore. Don’t worry if you’re wondering where we went or if this is the end of us. It isn’t. Haha But it has been a while and I feel I owe you all some words, some explanations.

First I’d like to say thank you for your love and support throughout these years. It’s gotten me through a lot of rough days and made me keep moving forward. Now that’s not to say that having this blog and other stuff related to it like our Facebook page and Youtube channel isn’t great. Now I do wanna apologize and make some things official.

  1. We aren’t done, we will be back.
  2. I have not been answering video questions or audio questions because it used to take a whole half of my day to reply to everything constantly. And I’d have to be on my phone throughout the day to make sure everything was responded to as well.

So now that I’m in Korea, I’m less active on other social media and just trying to remain active on my own life. Finishing my studies, furthering my education and my experience as a vocal instructor, singer and as a person.

Once the right time comes, I shall be back to this blog. That time just isn’t now yet.

If you were wondering what I’ve been doing besides the University I’ve been attending (Sejong University btw), I’ve also been recently on two TV shows. One of them is called I’m a Trot Singer (The Trot version of I’m A Singer) in which I sang as part of the background. I’ll link the video and I come out after the 4:00 mark.

I was also recently on a TV show called TopGoal Rhapsody in which I performed a song. The show’s concept is where foreigners come out, show their talent and sing a song released between 1980 and 2010 in both Korean and translated into their own mother tongue. The translation should be done by the contestant themselves with no professional help. The song I sang was “가질 수 없는 너” or The One I Can’t Have and even though English is my most comfortable language, I had to sing the second verse in my original first language which is Portuguese.

I shall keep working hard to achieve my final goal in the end and I can’t promise I’ll come back here like it was before, but I won’t abandon this blog because it helped me a lot throughout some rough years. I also am thankful to you all.

(To people who may NOT know this: Yes, I am both a singer and a vocal instructor, just FYI. lol)


Throughout the years, we’ve received immense love from every one of our readers. And we’re deeply thankful for the amount of support we got from the people who understand what we are all about. We appreciate, love and thank you all for these amazing years.

However we’ve received our own fair share of criticism as well. Our ranking system has always been controversial, and rightfully so. However the content within our analyses is the most important thing to us. We didn’t watch more than 30 to 40 individual live performances for each of these vocalists, more than 120 so far, for nothing. We care about each and every one of these vocalists. People might call us biased and if you know me, you know I hate to be called something I’m not. We’re not biased. Bias is not even listening or caring, it’s having a pre-conceived notion and sticking to it. We don’t do that. We give everyone a fair chance. We don’t have preferences, we don’t rank based on our taste or whom we like. We don’t dislike anybody or try to put anyone down.

But we understand that ranking vocalists isn’t the nicest thing to do. For a while now we’ve been thinking of eliminating the ranking system altogether. Truthfully, it’s counterproductive to rank vocalists against one another. That’s not what we’re about. We’re here to spread knowledge and educate people on vocal technique. We want people to be able to know what’s unhealthy and healthy for the voice. What can be dangerous and what’s good for you. We want the best not only for the fans, but for each of the vocalists we’ve analyzed. We spend so much time analyzing them, we truthfully grow attached to each one of them. I know I do.

So from now on, we won’t be ranking vocalists or trying to say someone is better than anybody else. We’re against fanwars and we don’t wish to fuel them. We want these rankings gone altogether. So from now, we’re going to simply label vocalists under their strongest qualities and stylistic choices. We won’t say who’s better than who, but we won’t label them by genre either. Instead we will re-label and re-organize them based on who prefers to sing within what range, in what way, what style and who’s developed their voice a specific way.

That does not mean that we don’t personally believe there is a more effective way to use the voice. We do and we stand by it. We stand by the fact that there are different types of techniques and ways to sing that a vocalist can choose and a vocalist who has more choices, has a bigger “tool belt” of choices to pick from. However even then, at the end of the day the choice is the vocalist’s and the vocalist’s only. If they choose to listen or choose to sing in one specific style, that’s their choice and we must respect that. However if they wish to change because they want to develop other ways to sing and other parts of their voices, that’s what we’re here for.

I know that change is hard and that many of you are our fans because of our ranking system. I don’t expect every one of you to stay with us through this change, as I know you like to know who’s better than who. But we feel as vocal instructors and vocalists ourselves that it is best to take this step forward and create a place that’s neutral in its narrative and positive in its message. We don’t want to fuel negativity. Who cares who’s better than who? Love your artist, support them and care about their vocal health, that’s all we want!

Our system goes now as follows with our criteria. The criteria will be updated in the front page as well. (Changes may still be made as this is the beginning of this only. You could call it a BETA mode right now.)

MH Vocalists: Mid-Range Head Voice Vocalists

Vocalists in this category haven’t developed their head voices very high but are able to use them within a relatively low to mid range in their voice type’s tessitura. They maintain connection at will and are able to access their head voices at will.

Sopranos: Up to at least D5 up to A5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Up to at least C5 up to G5
Tenors: Up to at least A4 up to E5
Baritones: Up to at least F4 up to C5

HV Vocalists: High Head Voice Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have developed a relaxed and open sound in their head voices. They can manipulate dynamics, qualities within their head voices, they maintain supported qualities and manipulate the placement in their head voices well.

Sopranos: Starting Around Bb5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Starting around G#5
Tenors: Starting around F5
Baritones: Starting around C#5

MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

Vocalists within this category generally perform the best within their mid-belting mixed voice range. Once they go high, they might have issues with keeping their throats as opened as they were in their mid belting ranges. They must be able to produce resonance in their mixed voices to be classified in this category.

Sopranos: Up to at least C5 up to D5/Eb5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Up to at least Bb4 up to C5/C#5
Tenors: Up to at least G4 up to A4
Baritones: Up to at least Eb4 up to F4

HB Vocalists: High Range Belters

Vocalists in this category perform best and have the most ease within their upper mixed voice ranges. They are able to keep an opened sound without losing tone quality, without losing support and without losing volume while still being relaxed. They must be able to produce resonance in their mixed voices to be classified in this category.

Sopranos: Starting around E5
Mezzo-Sopranos: Starting around D5
Tenors: Starting around Bb4
Baritones: Starting around F#4

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category are those with relatively narrow supported ranges, whose strengths lie in singing within an octave of their range without going too high or too low too often. They generally keep support within a mid one octave range, but outside of that strain can become more apparent and intense.

Sopranos: Falling somewhere within A3/Bb3 ~ Bb4/B4
Mezzo-Sopranos: Falling somewhere within G3/G#3 ~ G#4/A4
Tenors: Falling somewhere within E3 ~ F4/F#4
Baritones: Falling somewhere within C3 ~ C#4/D4

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have somewhat developed their lower ranges, but could still further develop the strength in the vocal cord development, projection, support and connection as they descend lower in range.

Sopranos: Going down to about G#3/G3
Mezzo-Sopranos: Going down to about F#3/F3
Tenors: Going down to about C#3/C3
Baritones: Going down to about A2/G#2

LR Vocalists: Low Range Vocalists

Vocalists in this category generally develop their lower ranges well and are comfortable singing lower than most within their voice types. They have developed chest voices, sung without tension, with connection, projection and ease.

Sopranos: Anywhere starting on F#3 and below
Mezzo-Sopranos: Anywhere starting on E3 and below
Tenors: Anywhere starting on B2 and below
Baritones: Anywhere starting on G2 and below

S vocalists: Stylistic Vocalists

Vocalists within this category usually prefer to sing in a specific specialized generally breathy way, narrowing their genre to keep themselves true to their style. They can often prefer breathiness, soft singing, throatiness and falsetto over singing with more connection and belting with more openness/roundness in tone.

C Vocalists: Commercial Vocalists

Vocalists in this category lack in terms of clarity of tone and overall management of airflow. They don’t necessarily prefer stylistic qualities like breathiness or soft singing. Instead they prefer to sing in a way that’s specific to their own music only, preferring to sing with high larynxes, or more air pressure, etc.

MA Vocalists: Melismatic/Agile Vocalists

This category is exclusive for the vocalists who have learned to how to properly move their vocal cords from note to note, at the center of pitch, with precision, control and ease. They have flexible vocal cords that respond to changes in pitch without sliding through them, but instead hitting each single note at a time with accuracy.

WR vocalists: Well Rounded Vocalists

Vocalists in this category have developed their ranges to sing within a variety of genres and styles while keeping a strong connection between their vocal cords and air management to sing with minimal strain within a wider range, from chest voice to mixed voice to head voice. The development of each of those registers should be both consistent and balanced.

To Jonghyun

I haven’t really written a proper response to this yet, but here it goes.

Honestly waking up to the news was one of the most shocking things ever. What could have happened? Is it real? How is one supposed to process that kind of information? I had been away from the personal lives of idols for a long time because it’s not healthy. I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t even know about his depression and it hurts so much.

In 2010 through 2012, I had depression. Many times I wanted to die. I didn’t want to kill myself but I wanted to die, hit by a bus or something. Every night going to sleep was so tough because there was this tight grip around my heart and it wouldn’t go away. I was fresh out of high school, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt ugly, alone and like I was going to amount to nothing.

I’d fall asleep later than everyone and wake up first, I’d have issues sleeping. When you’re sad, you usually know why and you just have to go and fix it or get over the reason why you’re sad. Right now I’m sad. Back then I was not. There was no reason, there was just a pain in my chest, my heart was in pain and I couldn’t fix it because I didn’t know how.

This would stay with me for two years with me hanging on and going on, until I was ready to move on and do what’s best for me. Through that time, it was the existence of many of these singers, of music, of my dreams that got me through it. They were the reason for my depression but also my remedy.

Jonghyun was a big part of this and to think that he was feeling what I felt is so heartbreaking. To think that he was going through this, taking pills to sleep. It hurts so much that I couldn’t do for him what he unknowingly did for me.

It’s through tears and pain that I have to say goodbye but his death shouldn’t be in vain. He didn’t die for no reason. This is to show us that mental health issues are real and are a disease. It’s not just something that can be brushed off as a personality issue or a mood. It needs to be dealt with and people have to come forward about it.

How many of these idols are going through this right now? How many of them feel this pain? I would never wish that kind of pain on anybody. Ever. So let’s not let this be the end, let us celebrate his life. Let us keep on fighting for our loved ones, for our dreams and never let others be alone. Let us work harder together.

We love you and will always love you so much Jonghyun. I hope that your soul is free and that you are in peace. It doesn’t matter what religion you’re, but let’s send him off with love so that he’s free.

Doctors, this is a disease. Start treating it as such. Save lives, like you’re supposed to. Depression is real.

수고했어요 형. 지금까지 많이 힘들었지만…

From: KpopVocalAnalysis, Ahmin

Industry Insiders Choose the Top 10 Idol Vocalists in K-pop

A very popular topic within the K-pop music industry is vocal ability. Fans usually get into very heated arguments over who’s the best of the best vocalist in the industry. So naturally, many websites take advantage of that and release articles with answers to everyone’s questions. However, those answers are never truly clear nor are they based off of enough credible sources. Many times news websites like Kpopmap and Soompi use catchy titles such as “Industry insiders choose…” or “Vocal professionals rank…”. But who are these professional industry insiders, and how is vocal ability being truly measured with such rankings? Is there truly an objective consistent measurable way to rank these vocalists; and if so, are these industry professionals truly credible enough to judge singing with such confidence?

When talking about professionals within the K-pop industry, it’s important to note who these professionals are and what their careers revolve around. If readers took their time to ignore the names of their favorite idols being mentioned in the article and instead paid attention to the names and professions of each professional in these articles, they’d realize that they’re often not singers and rarely are they actually vocal instructors or coaches. In an article by TVReport, there is never any mention of vocal instructors, but there is mention of specific roles in the music industry, such as “insiders through King of Mask Singer” (Soompi para 1, Koreaboo para 1, TVReport para 1). This generally refers to those who works in the TV show production, PDs, assistants, who may not necessarily understand vocal ability. Another article mentions the best vocalists in no particular order, but gives credit to their insiders and names each one of them. Other judges from King of Mask Singer were mentioned and their job titles were PD, indie musician, pop music critic, producer, composer, and editor-in-chief (Ize para 1, Koreaboo para 3). None of these are professions directly related to singing ability. If these people were asked to judge one’s music, producing, or composing abilities then their opinions would be more relevant. However none of them are credible enough to talk about singing ability since none of them are vocalists or instructors themselves.

There is no way to truly be objective about singing ability when considering opinions from people who are not knowledgeable of vocal ability. When truly analyzing this article, there are holes in their methods of evaluation. Evaluation methods such as votes can often seem more like a popularity contest than an objective process. In no moment is it mentioned why one voted for one over the other. If this was truly an objective look into vocal ability, the decisions should be unanimous. A score system might also be utilized. For example, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon scored the highest grade with 93 points out of a 100, followed by Sistar’s Hyorin with 87 points, and JYJ’s Junsu with 51 points (TVReport para 5 – 11, Koreaboo para 4 – 6). However, nowhere in the article is it explained how these numbers came to be. There’s no explanation as to what the criteria scores are based. The use of vague words and explanations for each position such as “He’s got an explosive voice, he’s succeeding in the musical world, and his husky voice is especially charming” or “He has a charming tone and outstanding singing ability, and his musicianship can be seen in his writing his own music and lyrics” (Soompi para 8 – 9) may compliment their voices, tones, or songwriting abilities; but these statements have nothing to do with vocal ability. Although each one of these professionals is entitled to their opinion, simply using generic explanations to rank a top 10 with misleading scoring systems is subjective and should be taken with a grain of salt.

In order to rank vocal ability, one must have sufficient knowledge of singing. The aspect to consider is one’s control of their voice. A beautiful voice is nothing without the skill to use it. A voice is an instrument just like a piano or a violin. If you give these beautiful instruments to amateurs, they won’t be able to play them as well as a professional. The same applies to singing, so complimenting one’s tone is much too personal and broad and doesn’t speak to singing ability. One must first think of a vocalist’s control of pitch, breathing, the control of volume, and dynamics. One must consider if a singer is able to sing with healthy technique. Speaking of songwriting ability or charms has nothing to do with singing ability and should not be part of an objective ranking system for vocalists.

Although articles are often hot topics and can be used to gain views, they don’t truly serve as anything more than a cause for arguments and fan wars. For an article to have enough credibility, the people who are interviewed should have sufficient knowledge of singing in order to properly talk about it objectively like vocal instructors, instead of just entertainment industry professionals. Moreover, in order to truly rank these vocalists, professionals interviewed should carefully listen to every single main and lead vocalist of every active idol group in order to be as thorough as possible. Not only that, but they must watch more than just a few performances in order to be 100% accurate with their judgment of vocal ability. Of course such an article would take time but it’s completely possible and should be the aim for such rankings, instead of simply trying to gain views. The final ranking should be objective and if they were to truly listen to all idol vocalists in every idol group, the result of this top 10 would be very different.