Does A Bird Have Wings (revisited)

Hi folks,

last year I put up 3 versions of this song to which a number of you gave good feedback. I revisited it recently and revamped the arrangement using some elements of the previous 3. I attempted some guitar work myself but realised the sound I was wanting just wasn’t happening. Luckily for me a good friend, David Cottingham, was available and graciously created the lead work. I’m really pleased with the outcome but, as always, welcome other ears and points of view.

all the best


Hey, I liked it. What I remembered from earlier posts was that I liked the composition and the vocal track. And I still do. The guitar adds realism, and your friend sounds like David Gilmour; that’s good! The bass and drums sound less real, but I think you could fix that. First, vary the velocity on the drum hits, especially the snare. Give the drums some space, meaning, give the snare in particular some plate reverb (there are decent plate presets with Reverence). But also give the whole kit a little room reverb. On the bass, I’d also adjust or randomize the velocity and length of the notes to make it sound more real. It’s a good composition, and this is going in the right direction!

Thanks Leon. Good advice. Something for me to work on.


Hi Jonathan. I remember this track. Good song then, and still.

There are three distinct sounds here, the vocal, the drums and then the guitar.
They are quite compartmentalized, each in very different spaces. Not necessarily
negative, but I found myself somewhat fixated on the differences.

The guitar track is somewhat lo-fi, in contrast to the clear and crisp vocal.
Then again, it certainly focussed my attention.

Pretty haunting track - I like it…! Your man David sounds like a useful guy to have around, blowing some good licks there…

A couple of things struck me:-

  1. The drums (programming) could keep just a little ‘straighter’ for longer in the verses; drop out one or two of the little ‘fills’ at the end of the loop. Choose your moments carefully when to add these back in, try and vary them round a bit (might work, might not…!). This then should all help to let the ‘break-up’ parts at the choruses have more impact. They’re really good by the way - don’t change those.! I love the way it all fits rhythmically there, with the lyric and guitar and bass…

  2. The heavier guitar part, right after the last ‘who is wrong’ lyric, is great. To me, with my producers hat on, right there is your new intro to the whole thing.! I know, bit of a shake up - but, top and tail the whole thing with this bigger sound and David doing some real screaming lead lines, then into the song, then out again as you have it… I’d love to listen to that, see how it works… :wink:

  3. Oh, I’ve thought of something else - do you have any long, slow, low cymbal crashes.? I think there’s one or two places for that kind of lo-fi background wash it would give, to help section transitions… (maybe you could take any crash cymbal sound you have and really go to town de-tuning it; roll off the very low-end and top-end so it sounds as if played with felt mallets - like something off an old Fleetwood Mac record; drop out the bass and drums start of second verse, have a bit of lyric and guitar only with the cymbal wash behind, for atmosphere/texture… oh my god, I’m freewheeling with ideas now… I must stop…! Sorry… Its your song, your ideas, your mood…)

Good luck.!

Thanks Jet. The sounds are compartmentalised to a degree. I really wanted a sparse sound at least until the lead took it all away. Maybe that’s where the lo-fi feel comes to your ears. I don’t have the skill to truly create such differences. Are you suggesting, perhaps , that I make the lead work more prominent? EQ? Presence?

Your ears have always picked up the nuances so I appreciate your advice.

Thanks again


Puma, thanks for listening.

You’ve added to the collection of advice with some really cool ideas. My mind is beyond freewheeling - it’s verging on imploding!

I hope everyone can give some time to focus on what has been said and let me work it out. As I said to Jet, my recording skills are pretty basic. I enjoy it immensely and am happy to learn about it all. Tinkering is great at first, then drives me crazy as my ears don’t necessarily hear the subtleties. (I lost 10% after a car accident when I was 21 [34 years ago]).

Ultimately, I present my material from a writer’s point of view. That’s my real interest. (I know that getting the best sound also represents my music in the best way.)

In any case, I really appreciate the feedback from all points of view.

all the best