It goes without saying that sounding like Jimi Hendrix requires you to become a seriously good guitar player (sorry), but if you want to emulate his tone, it's possible to get pretty close using just a small selection of free plug-ins.
In this tutorial, we're going to show you how. Before you start, you're going to need to download and install the following tools:
CMFuzz or Camel Audio Camel Crusher
These distortion plug-ins are pretty much identical. The former is available every month on the cover DVD that comes with our sister magazine Computer Music, while the latter can be downloaded for free from Camel Audio's website. (PC and Mac)
Simulanalog Guitar Suite
A free suite of guitar stompboxes and amps. We'll be using the Marshall JCM900 Dual Reverb model. (PC)
Kjaerhus Audio Classic Reverb
One of several free processors in Kjaerhus's Classic range, this is a flexible and fine-sounding reverb. (PC)
Once you've got these plug-ins installed, you need to fire up your host software and use them in this configuration.
1. Hendrix was a dedicated Strat user, with a love of super-loud Marshall amps and piles of effects pedals. Ideally, you should use a guitar with single coil pickups. Start with the CMFuzz or Camel Audio Camel Crusher plug-in – the American HiGain preset is ideal.
2. While the fuzz is basically what we're after, it's currently reminiscent of a bee in a jam jar, so the JCM900 serves to take the edge off. Select Channel A (clean) and push Drive ChA up to about 7 (note that this doesn't add any more distortion). To further curtail the buzz, set Low to 8.
3. Another from Kjaerhus Audio's Classic collection, the Classic Reverb has some decent sounds and its Small Hall preset requires very little tweaking – just move the room Size round to 30 and back the effect Mix off to slightly below 1:1.
And there you go. You can listen to the sound that this effects setup creates in the following audio clip: