About & Our Criteria

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Vocal Analyses

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

FUTURE PROJECTS HERE

This blog was made with the intent to share knowledge and share vocal analyses from different vocalists in K-pop. Nobody in the blog is a hater or an anti-fan. The analyses give positive and negative points and are all constructive criticism, nobody is telling you to hate or not listen to your favorite idol vocalist. We’re only letting you know what their vocal skill based on what vocal technique and music theory is from a musically professional standpoint. If you’re confused about rankings, categories and such, click the about and our criteria page. This post will also include the information existing in that page if you’re unwilling to click through just click read more. Otherwise click About & Our Criteria and most questions should be answered. We try to back up all our points with substantial evidence from the singers’ performances, we thoroughly listen to their performances from past and present. No one in this blog claims to be an expert, we’re all learning and everyday we learn more and more, just as we respect your opinions, please respect ours, which were influenced by the knowledge we have and the way we’ve been taught. Thank you.

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This blog is dedicated to compile vocal analyses done by our contributors in order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity regarding their idols’ vocal. The analysis will be based solely on VOCAL TECHNIQUE, not tone, timbre, emotions, stage presence, etc.

The analysis might change according to their latest performance.

If you would like your idol to be analyzed feel free to drop the question in the comment box. If you feel that the analysis is not accurate, you could suggest a video or recording and give us the reasoning behind your disagreement. We will gladly alter the vocal analysis page of the respective idol if your reasoning behind it is proven.

Comments will be moderated. Constructive discussion are welcome. Bashful and hateful comments will be deleted. Every idol mentioned here are talented in their own way. Even so, we are focusing solely on their vocal capabilities and we try our best to give an objective analysis regarding the matters.

So far, we will use this system as our judging criteria. We will elaborate more once it’s established. It goes from best to worst.

TERMINOLOGY

Tones/Semitones/Notes/Key
A key of a song means within the key signature of the song. There are 12 notes in total, C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B and back to C, completing one full octave. A tone is from a note up two semitones, so the distance between C and C#/Db is a semitone, whereas C and D are a full note apart. A major Key will follow a tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone pattern, so C major is C D E F G A B C. Although there are no sharps or flats between E and F or B and C, they’re a semitone apart. # stands for sharp and b stands for flat and whether or not you name a note sharp or flat depends on the key, i.e. C# major and Db major are the same key with different names, C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C# and Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db, on a piano the same notes are played, just with different names.

Intonation
Being able to stay in pitch and in key. Good intonation means not going sharp, flat or singing a note that isn’t within the chord progression and/or key of the song. Going sharp means slightly above the pitch but not really hitting a note above, so like a note in between C and C#, and flat means a note that’s slightly below pitch, so a note in between C and B, for example.

Tonality/Tone Production
The way tone and sound is produced through good support. The voice comes out stable, without any laryngeal restriction nor tension, tone is clean and has the true sound of the individual’s voice type, without an uncentered pitch, excessive breathiness, nasality and tension.

Vibrato
The shift between two notes rapidly within, normally, a sustained note. The difference between the notes is usually less than a semitone. A forced throaty vibrato is usually produced artificially by using the throat, instead of the natural vibrato that comes out once the vocal cords are relaxed with good breath support.

Stability
The stability of the voice, meaning it’s not off pitch and it doesn’t sound wobbly, shaky and unsupported.

Registers
Chest voice, lowest range. Head voice, highest range. Mixed voice, the belting area of the voice.

Support
How the individual vocalist uses their correct breathing technique with the diaphragm to better support, project and hold their voice together.

Placement vs Resonance vs Projection
Resonance is the optimum sound a vocalist should focus on when singing. It is a full, clean and round sound that won’t sound thin, constricted or small. A vocalist who’s resonant will use different types of placements, i.e. their voice will be placed either in their chest, head or mask (cheekbones area, not nose) to project their voice, in each individual register. A vocalist may be able to be resonant in their mixed voice by normally placing their voice in their mask with chest resonance, or as they go higher, with head resonance. A resonant sound is always going to be a projected sound, now resonance doesn’t mean loud, because a loud sound maye still be pushed and strained. You may project but still have tension, but in true resonance tension should not be present.

Vocal Range vs Supported Range vs Tessitura
Vocal range means the individual’s lowest singable note to the individual’s highest singable note.  A tessitura will depend on the individual’s voice type and where their voice sits most comfortably, shines the most and could project the best. A supported range includes notes outside the tessitura where the individual’s voice type may not be naturally inclined to project well in, however so due to the vocalist’s own ability, they’re able to still maintain tone production, support, projection and stability. e.g In classical music, sopranos’ tessituras are something in between A3/C4 to  A5/C6, however in contemporary music a soprano singing as high as C6 is very uncommon and unnecessary; a contemporary soprano, for an example Hyorin, is able to keep resonance consistently up until E5 or F5, which is almost ideal for a soprano who should be able to carry that resonance up until A5 without a problem. However so she’s also able to sing down to F#3/G3 with correct support, which although is outside her voice type’s natural tessitura, she’s still able to keep support and projection down there.

Musicianship/Musicality
Musicianship is the act of changing any song given to you and making it your own, usually on the spot. This includes melodic changes, rhythmic changes and added embellishments. Musicality is the act of interpreting music correctly according to each individual genre of music, by adding the correct use of vocal effects (e.g. raspiness, breathiness, growls, vocal runs, vibrato) and playing with the song musically by adding dynamics (e.g. singing softly, loudly, powerfully on the right moments of each song).

Legato/Staccato
A musical phrase usually will last a couple of bars. During a phrase, the melody may be played/sung smoothly connected without every note sounding chopped up, whereas staccato means emphasizing every single note separately with minor less than a second breaks in between every note. Legato is the most basic form of singing through correct breath control and support.

Agility
Vocal agility is an embellishment and it means, being able to sing many notes accurately and quickly, by separating each individual note while still being able to connect them within one sung vowel. Those are usually called melismas or vocal runs.

CRITERIA

Excellent Vocalist

  • All three registers are developed
  • Supported as close as possible from their highest to lowest extremities
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within C3 ~ E3 (or lower) and G5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Bb2 ~ D3 (or lower) and F5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within F#2 ~ A2 (or lower) and C5/C#5 (or higher)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within D2 ~ F#2 (or lower) and Bb4 (or higher)
  • Within their Voice Type’s tessitura they are consistently resonant
  • Complete support in the middle register and lower register
  • For females head voice must be completely resonant at will; for males falsetto must be completely supported
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks when transitions are being made
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual note, potentially very complex runs are done from the bottom to the top of their ranges
  • Musicianship the ability to change a song and make it their own and Musicality having complete control over the voice in any given genre
  • Almost perfect intonation
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Great 

  • Developed registers, but one register may be lacking in development.
  • Optimal resonance is achieved on a regular basis.
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F3/F#3 and F#5/G5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within Eb3/E3 and E5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within A2/Bb2 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within F#2/G2 and G#4/A4
  • Support is present in all registers, but maybe not to their lowest and highest extremes
  • Within in their voice type’s tessitura they are resonant and well projected, but not as resonant and well projected as Excellent vocalist
  • Connection in the voice with no noticeable breaks
  • Agility is present and pitch is controlled with good separation between individual notes
  • Great interpretation skills (Musicianship), but Musicality may not be as finely tuned as Excellent vocalist
  • Intonation is almost perfect
  • Tonality is almost never lost

Good 

  • One very well developed register or two well developed registers, with the others either being Average or Above Average
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within F#3/G3 and E5/F5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within E3/F3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Bb2/B2/C3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G2/G#2 and G4/G#4
  • Optimal resonance often present, but is not always achieved
  • Within their vocal type’s tessitura they are resonant and supported, but tonality can be lost at times.
  • Connection between registers is not always present
  • Some agility, but runs and transitions are not always controlled
  • Interpretation skills are present, has show musicality
  • Good intonation rarely goes off
  • At times can lose tonality by rarely does

Competent 

  • One well developed or two/three somewhat developed register well balanced
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within G#3/A3 and D5/Eb5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within F#3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and G#4/A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within G#2/A2 and E4/F4
  • Consistently supported within their supported range
  • Resonates at times, but optimal resonance is not a regular occurrence
  • Connection between the registers is not present
  • Intonation is not perfect, off-key moments happen at times
  • Good tonality isn’t always kept, strain and tension are apparent at times

Above Average

  • One somewhat developed register with the others being average or weak
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and C5/C#5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G3 and B4/C5
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within D3 and G4/G#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within Bb2/B2 and Eb4/E4
  • Inconsistent with resonance
  • Even in their supported range strain and tension can be present
  • Nasality can be present within the voice at times
  • Intonation issues can be frequent

Average

  • No register is developed considerably well
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within Bb3 and Bb4/B4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within G#3 and A4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within Eb3 and F4/F#4
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C3/C#3 and C#4/D4
  • Inconsistent with support, and if at all resonance, even if occasional resonance has happened
  • Good tonality is not present at all times, nasal placement is normally used
  • Frequent intonation issues

Weak

  • No developed registers
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for sopranos falls somewhere within B3 and G#4/A4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for mezzo-sopranos falls somewhere within A3 and F#4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for tenors falls somewhere within E3/F3 and Eb4/E4 (or less)
  • Range wise, supported range without head voice for baritones falls somewhere within C#3/D3 and B3/C4/C#4 (or less)
  • Very inconsistent with support, strain,no resonance
  • Good tonality is not present
  • Out off tune singing is frequent

Terrible

  • No support, not a vocalist basically

FYI, Among KPOP idols there is NO ONE who is considered Excellent/Amazing/Fantastic vocal-wise (Imagine Maria Callas, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as amazing/fantastic). They are Great/Good at best.

For further question you can ask the contributors directly at this forum

OneHallyu vocals’ thread

Regards,

Admin

FUTURE PROJECTS HERE

THE TEAM PAGE HERE

1,636 thoughts on “About & Our Criteria

    • The G3 was definitely audible, with good tone but it was almost kind of spoken and I wouldn’t call it like a 100% sung and supported note, it wasn’t bad though. Soyeon sounds tight in the first C5…and the second one is less tight but more pushed, it’s less light..it had more chest voice but yes they’re both shallow in support and tense.

  1. It’s kind of hard because today I said that Luna is the most skilled SM female vocalist, and I got a lot of hate, with people saying others were better. I asked who they thought was better and they said what was expected: Taeyeon and BoA….and someone mentioned Zhang Liyin, a chinese soloist under SM. I was wondering if you knew about Liyin? If so, what do you think her rating would be? This is a studio version of her more popular solo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q88CPny66ew

    And this is the live version:

    I am so sorry for so many comments! >.< I'm just very curious, and since I know nothing about music (I studied acting instead) I can't determine things by my self….I am so sorry but thank you so much for being here…

    • Well what can you do? Not everybody is going to agree. BoA is nowhere near Taeyeon or Luna, Zhang Li Yin is the closest one to Luna sort of. She could be Competent at most I believe. Anyway nah Idk… people are just going to have different opinions and they’re uneducated opinions based on taste and that’s fine.

  2. yo so have u guys done an analysis on BM (Big Mama)’s Lee Young Hyun?
    I heard her and thought she must be one of the best of the nation what do you guys think,?

    • This would probably better be asked in the Chen analysis. The highest notes had good placement, some tension on the Bb4s, but not bad and the C5 was a bit unstable in terms of mixing.

  3. Hi ahmin it’s me again. Does beyonce always an excellent vocalist even when she was in destiny’s child or after DC? And if you could give a rank where would you put kelly and michelle in?

    • Michelle is inconsistent she could be good or competent and kelly above average or competent and Beyoncé improved a lot but I didn’t follow her closely enough to be able to tell you her growth.

      • Michelle is better than kelly? Wow but poor michelle got les line between the threethree. Thanks ahmin i will ask you again when i got a question if that’s ok

  4. Is Song So Hee any good?

    She’s like 18 this year, since she was 5 years old she was trained to sing gugak (traditional korean songs)

    • That’s one way to look at it, it has to be controlled, it has to be supported, it has to have tone, dynamics, it just has to be developed in both range and support/control.

    • I’ve seen this video before, it was shown to me. Both of them have very nice and forward tones, very nicely supported, some strain and tension happens in the higher parts but they can switch well enough into their falsettos. Their lower ranges are a bit overly quiet below E3 but they can carry some tone, they are at least average vocalist though so they’re definitely stronger than Kahi, Jungah or Lizzy.

  5. Ahmin how was You Think for you ? Short analysis please their voice there was improve a lot especially Sunny. And their vocal range of that song ?

    • Lots of F#5’s and E5’s in the chorus with Seohyun and Tiffany, G5 in the second pre-chorus for Taeyeon. That’s all I can tell you because it’s a studio song, the only studio notes that caught me were some runs we discussed from Taeyeon in Bump It I believe and a D5 in Green Light.

      • was her run from Bump It any decent? I really think she’s kinda the one who’s capable enough for that.

      • Her runs have been better for sure and she’s always been able to do quite well with runs, compared to the rest.

      • A holy G5 for Taeyeon ? Woah !! They’re starting promote You Think, how is it ? And do you do a vocal range in their latest album ? And P.S. did you heard their song Talk Talk in album ? How was Sunny’s whistle note there ? lol

  6. Ahmin what do you think about Sunny’s vocal performance in you think. I know it’s a studio recording but I want to know your current thoughts on it.

    • She was singing within her normal supported range, with a little bit more chest voice than usual but still a bright mix in general. There’s not much for me to say about it yet.

  7. Wow! I have been taking my time browsing this blog throughly for a few days and I really love it! I am a normal muggle who know nothing about singing but do enjoy music so reading about all these “technical” aspects of it and everything is really alot (almost mindblowing). You should almost start a forum or something so it’s easier to browse all these questions with interesting answers XD Thank you for you hard work! Really! :)

    • Well there’s a thread on the OneHallyu forum dedicated to things related to this blog. Starting its own forum would be tough, I have no idea how to even start.

      • Yes I know it would be really tough. Just maybe something to think about? There is freeforums and proboard. Ofc keep this blog for vocal analysis and a forum for more “random” discussion and specific questions about singers. Like seperate threads for groups/singers to talk about recent performances and questions. Wishlist thread and so on… I wish I could help you! Haha sorry this turned so long!

      • I don’t know if I/We could manage a forum, it’s not a bad idea but it just feels like it’s not the right time yet.

      • I don’t really feel like a forum would do. It’s like, um the hype of using forum is not that strong anymore, except for some kind of specific ones. Idk, it’s still an idea so yeah, but WP is fine for me :D

    • She did a great job in this performance, but Lady Gaga has always had more than good vocal technique which was underappreciated by those who only listen to her mainstream studio tracks. Technically she’s possibly a good to great or great vocalist, with great control of dynamics and musicianship.

  8. What would you rather watch: a lip-sync performance or a live performance with slightly imperfect vocals? (I’m thinking about kpop groups with serious choreography such as 2pm, EXO, SNSD, etc.)
    Also, how would you describe the differences between JYP, SM, and YG? I personally have always liked YG best, even though they don’t really focus on vocals, simply because I like their style of music, but I’ve recently come to respect JYP a lot. And I do like SM artists, but some of their music is too… pop-y for me? I don’t know.

    • Me, personally, I don’t care if its lip synched or not if I’m watching them 100% live in person, unless it’s a ballad performance. JYP, YG and SM…well SM was always my style, not just because their vocalists were better but pop, bubblegum pop, ballad and dance music is more my style, than heavier hip hop or really dancey voiceless vocalists like JYP. I do love the Wonder Girls without a doubt, I just generally love cute bubblegum music better. I feel like I like SM the best for their vocalists and ballads though..or cuteness.

      • Interesting! Though are all the artists in JYP voiceless? I actually don’t know. When I said I’ve come to respect JYP, I was really talking about 2PM. And at least two members in that group are decent singers. Jun K. and Junho are both at least A or AA (if my estimation is correct). Wooyoung also sings, but he’s not as strong. But that’s only 2PM – I really don’t know about miss A or Got7 or any of the other groups. Anyways, I look forward to Jun K and Junho’s analyses. Thanks again for all your work!

      • Not all of them, just most of 2PM. I’ve seen good moments from Junho though. Jun.K, I don’t think he’s going to have that high of a rating. I can’t commend a company on vocal skill when their strongest vocalist is AA at most, u know what I mean? Miss A and Got7 aren’t much better either. Sunye was their strongest vocalist sadly she’s gone. Sorry if my words can be harsh at times and thanks for the support!

  9. Are you familiar with any first generation idol groups? Were there any idols from the first generation with decent vocal abilities other than Bada and Ock Joo Hyun?

  10. Many said Luna f(x) is the strongest in SM Ent now then Zhang Li Yin, Wendy, Taeyeon, etc. But how about Lina CSJH? I know that group has unknown status between still there or disband, but as long as i know they are only inactive band.

    • Lina isn’t active currently anymore and there’s no way to know if she’s kept up her vocal technique, so unless she makes a comeback and sings again, which would be awesome if she went on Immortal Song 2 for an example, then we would know how she is.

  11. Do you know of any credible and mostly accurate vocal analyses sites for western singers, even if they are not as well written and detailed as this blog?

    • I do not. Every single one seems to be run by people with little knowledge and a lot of bias, much like criticofmusic, divadevotee and vocalpop. They’re fun blogs, but they’re not very accurate. Divadevotee has improved and has been updating some of their stuff and theyre fun with different interactive posts.

    • I do not talking about singers from outside of Korea, but I will give a brief answer. He is one of the 4 heavenly kings, as far as I’ve heard. He has a song with Regine Velasquez that I’ve heard before. I hear no real resonance, he sounds alright but I hear nothing specially impressive. 3:11 I hear tension on his G4’s.

  12. What do you think about this? I read some of this person’s analyses and they actually seem mostly accurate and similar to your analyses, even if they are much less detailed, except for the order of Taeyeon, Daesung, and Junsu. The analysis and ranking for CL really surprised me though. She seems a bit better than Bom, but is she actually better than, or at least close to Sunny?
    http://www.allkpop.com/forums/discussion/398328/my-vocal-analysis-cl-the-baddest-female
    http://www.allkpop.com/forums/discussion/451120/my-vocal-analysis-sunny-no-longer-a-hidden-gem

    • I have talked to him yes, he’s alright. He’s got some knowledge, but his rating system uses a different criteria and he favors numbers and a general score over traits and patterns. I don’t necessarily agree but at least it’s original. I do think CL is better than Bom but I don’t know, we don’t agree about her being a mezzo and she seems to lack any form of good reasoning to be more than just a weak to average vocalist.

    • Wendy to an extent, Yuju to an extent, but Wendy lacks material and Yuju is very inconsistent. The other rookies who stood out to me and will be analyzed by me this year are Shannon and Mamamoo.

    • I am not familiar with him. 1:25 that note in the first video, that was pretty tight. 1:40 is quite pushed, but more opened sounding at least. He is pushing a lot on those higher notes, all those A4’s and the one B4. His breathing is fine and he can handle his tone well with good control of pitch within a lower range. 1:25 in the first video and 0:45 in the second one, those are F#4’s. F#4 seems to be an area where he starts to push.. His tone reminds me a little bit of Taeil. He pushes a lot on higher notes. 1:45 yelled, 1:47 better more opened F#4 here. I think you could say he’s probably average.

    • She lowered her larynx and I hope because she was trying to play around because it was a B3. I think she slid up from a G#3 but the main note she stayed on was B3.

      • Oh now I understand, it sounded lower because she lowered her layrnx. Now knowing it’s a B3, I feel very stupid. I think she was playing around. Here is what her upper 3rd octave notes generally sound like

        0:49 and 0:51. This is my favorite AOA song ^ ^

  13. Hey there! I just have a quick question. In your view, from what you’ve seen so far, who do you think has improved their vocal abilities the most so far? I was really impressed with Taemin personally (even though he still has a long way to go), but I was wondering what your opinion was?

    • Taemin is the example I can think of from idols who improved the most. Kyuhyun has improved quite a bit, Baekhyun as well, Minzy and Hyorin improved quite a bit, Hyorin would probably be second to Taemin. Younha actually improved quite a bit too, she might have improved more so than Hyorin tbh. Seohyun, Tiffany and 2AM Changmin also showed improvement. Many have showed improvement, but compared to Taemin, Younha, Hyorin, Baekhyun, Minzy, Sandeul, Luna and Kyuhyun, it wasn’t as drastic.

  14. Guess what? I think Solar improved her mixing. 2 days ago they did a song on Immortal songs and I’m so mad that I missed another Immortal songs and a Masked King singer 2 days after I posted my video! I might make a video showcasing her best belts/mixes

    Do you think she improved? I do, she seems much more consistent in belting C#5 and over

    • Yeah I watched that~ I mean I never really had issues with her around C5/C#5, my problem is with her above that which still seems to be yelled out. Like she has really good resonance on B4 and C#5 and her placement above that isn’t bad, it’s just quite pushed. They’re such a good vocal unit together though.

    • Whose sister is she? Her larynx doesn’t sound stable on C5’s and above, she is kind of shouty but the placement isn’t bad, she projects well but it just sounds like there’s too much effort going on.

  15. I’d like to know what your opinion on Solji from E.X.I.D’s vocals are. I find her vocals absolutley AMAZING! I think she is definatly up there with Ailee, Hyorin, and BoA, but i feel like she doesn’t get as much attention.

    (Igonore Hyelin, she actually actually sang the wrong pitch, she sang higher than she was supose to so Solji had to go even higher to complete the chorus, but it clearly shows Solji had no problem pulling of that high note)

    • Good job for noticing them singing in a higher key. Both of them had issues with the higher key actually. Also adding to the other author’s comment, not only is there a Solji analysis but there’s also a BoA analysis…neither of them are quite up there with Ailee or Hyorin.

  16. Hi Ahmin.
    Do you think this newly released cover supports Chanyeol’s ‘Average’ ranking or possibly lowers it ?

    Somewhere around 0:45 , is he using head voice ?

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