what makes a voice sound pleasant/unpleasant?


I was listening to kpop (don’t judge) and I was wondering what specifically made the singer’s voice sound so pleasant, even though they were singing in a language I don’t understand. Is it something you can practice or is it simply something that you are born with?

In: Biology

I think it’s personal preference of the listener. Some people are really into the high pitched type thing that k pop does, but others find really gravelly low metal singing awesome.

If you’re asking how you can sound like a kpop singer, it’s possible it just might take a lot of practice especially if you’re a dude because your voice will already be lower.

To the strict technical point of view: high pitched and nasal voices are annoying, low pitched voices are pleasant.

The singers are generally good in their own right, but anytime you listen to a studio recorded song you can guarantee that the voice has been enhanced in some way shape or form, and that its been cut together to get the absolute best takes possible.

What do I mean by enhanced? Well there’s many different ways to improve vocal quality from an audio engineers end. We use a technique called compression which basically smooths out the differences between the louder and softer singing to give a more consistent level through the whole track, or there are many sorts of effects that can be used to enhance vocals such as harmonizers and chorus effects as well the one that you would more commonly have heard of; ‘Auto-Tune’. Effects like reverb and delay are used to try and emulate a room such as a large hall or stadium.

The singers do multiple takes of the same songs and the audio engineer in consultation with the producer cuts the best takes together to give the best version of the song.

All in all, the music has been enhanced to provide the best aural experience possible, and the Koreans and Japanese seem to have the formula right for producing music that is pleasant to listen to, even if the listener can’t understand the song.

EDIT: So I noticed a few people pointing out that they’ve heard live performances that are just as good or better than any studio album, and I have experienced this to. This very much comes down to the style of music, the talent of the singer, and the creative decisions that wrap it together. Country music for example tends to sound very similar live and in the studio.

I can’t tell whether it’s true for music but generally, I enjoy very calm and rather deep voices as I find them soothing and they sound understanding.

There are 12 notes in the classical musical scale A-G with all having a sharp # (I.E A#) except B and E. Between every notes there are degrees of closeness called “cents”. Think one of those small plastic protractors we used to have for telling the degrees in an angle in maths class with the note A at 0 degrees and B at 180 degrees. The closer you are to the full note the better it sounds the farther away it is the worse it sounds. This is known as “timbre” pronounced tam-Ber. People who sing or sound flawless or pleaseny hit those notes exactly. Those who do not are a slight few degrees away from that note or if they really suck they are wildly off from those notes.