Does A Bird Have Wings? - 3 versions to consider

Hello everybody. I’ve been out of access for a while. Very busy with a school show I was MD for. During the past few months though, I have been sporadically working on this song. The first version was fine until I recorded the guitars and realised I had a quasi 70s boogie feel. This was ok to appoint but I wondered whether I could update it a bit. So I made another synth based version with a very straight drum beat. I realised I had moved to the 80s and I liked it for what it was but experimented further. The final version I like the best, it’s a lot cooler and I’m uncertain of it’s roots just yet.

Before I go any further, the experiment I made for myself in changing the styles stipulated the same progression, tune and structure as the original - my rules only.

I am interested in what you think about each of the versions and whether one works better than the others. The order below is the order of recording. Hope you like it.


Hi Jonathan,

given the parlous state of this forum these days the average
jock won’t bother with listening to three versions of anything.
Sad but true.

However, I did listen to about 1:45 of each, and I sampled beyond
that for V3. That got me into your sonic ballpark I think.

First of all, I think it’s a great song, and your vocal delivery is
also excellent. Very good lyrics and very good hook. But I think
you are underselling this tune.

As to the music in all three Vs, I think it all sounds way over-
blanketed, like you wiped out everything from 1K
upwards. To my ears, there is no top end there at all.

That sits in stark contrast to a very clear and cleanly EQd and sung
vocal in three Vs. And I also think the vocal therefore sounds
very much above the music, too much (for me). So for me the music
is being short-changed.

I didn’t think V1 sounded so old-school, just suffered from the lack
of a top end and vocal balance.

As to V3, perhaps you ask a lot of the listener when the beat is
not so discernible and there is no regular kick-snare anchor.

Having said all that, feel free to shoot me in the ears and tell
me I’m deaf or oblivious to other things. No doubt I am these days. :smiley:

Great song and great vocal.

Fascinating response, Jet. Thank you. I’m really glad you said that about the top end. I think you are right. In my attempt to compress, I felt something was amiss but I couldn’t work it out. Now I know what to do. Give me a few days, though. Work is getting in the way again.

As for the rhythm of v3, I get what you mean by the kick-snare anchor as that is exactly what I was trying to avoid. However, I may tinker with the EQ of the various parts and bolster some aspects to make the rhythm slightly more discernible.

Again, thanks for the feedback. Your ears are as good as ever.


Thank you to all who have had a listen.

I’ve tinkered with all three versions, changing the filtering of the compression in some of the instrumental tracks. Hopefully, the mix is clear enough in terms of extra top end.

Here are the versions again or, if you only want to listen to one, choose the third below. It’s my preferred option.

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

All the best


Hi again Jonathan,

I had a listen to Versions 1 & 3.

Can’t really add much else to my previous remarks.

A matter of personal taste I guess. Still think the music
tracks could do with some vitamin E-q and the vocal is
rather loud in comparison.

Still like the song. Little hints of Mr Bowie in spots,
which is nice.

I like the Bowie-Joy Division-Iggy vibe. Not sure what the murky pumping thing is, but I’ll grant it gives the track it’s alt vibe. My critique is somewhat conflicted – I want to accept the track as-is, since that’s your vision, but I am wanting something much more driving. The drums are the main issue in this respect. For example, the snare strike sounds like a snare being struck with just a moderate touch, where it should be a CRACK! Same with the kick. Come up with some driving drums, and maybe a guitar just playing droning eighth notes, and then it will sound how DOUG wants it to :laughing:

Thanks again Jet, and, Doug, nice to hear from you too. Bowie? Far too kind but I am pleased with the general feel of the song.

The third version was always going to be less cluttered than the first (which had the driving drums and guitars). Still, maybe a 4th is possible if I want to mix and match the defining aspects of each version. Can I do it? Not sure. I’ll contemplate the possibilities in the near future.

All the best


HI moggs, I did listen to all three versions (as you revised them). I definitely like version three the best in terms of the arrangements. It’s darker, maybe more aligned with the sentiment of the words. I like the trumpet sounds too. I always recommend going along with Jet’s comments on the overall balance! Maybe you could add some contrast in the volume from section to section to give it more drama, that’s about all I can suggest. Maybe the second time you sing the section “see me fly”, you go all intense by singing it up an octave with a climactic background? Or maybe just higher, say up to A. Just a thought. Anyway, thanks for posting, good stuff.

Thanks Leon, I’m taking all of the advice in, trying to find a way to make it work for me too. What you’ve added here is also worth lots of merit. Give me some time to mull it over and I’m certain something will happen.