Let’s take a look at Jimi Hendrix’s gear and how we can replicate the tone from Foxy Lady with the Boss ME-80!
Foxy Lady was the third single from Jimi Hendrix’s Debut Album “Are You Experienced” released in 1967. For this classic tone Jimi used his famous Fender Strat (strung upside down for left Handed) through his Marshall Super Lead double stack. The amplifier was apparently so loud in the studio that the sound of the speaker cabinet shaking on the floor was coming through on the recording from the shear volume he was running it at! I think that’s just a fantastic story (true or not!). Hendrix is known for the incredibly loud volume levels that he run his amp at in the studio. So let’s take a look at his gear and how we can replicate the tone with the ME-80.
Using the 4 Elements of Guitar Tone formula for this song we have:
1. The Guitar
2. The Pickup Selection
This is a bridge pickup tone which you may not think because the tone isn’t very bright but that’s the Fuzz Effects Pedal makes it duller. So select the bridge pickup.
IMPORTANT: If you don’t happen to own a guitar with a singe-coil in the neck position just go for the closest approximation on your guitar. e.g. on a 2-humbucker guitar like a Les Paul, just select the bridge pickup and we can deal with the tonal differences later in the EQ, Compressor and FX sections.
3. The Amp
When selecting an amp there are some basic rules of thumb that will help:
ALWAYS START WITH EVERYTHING OFF!!!
I can’t stress this enough. Find the OFF button for everything in the signal chain so all you can hear is your dry old guitar sound coming through. Remember any multiFX/amp simulator like the BOSS ME-80 are just simulating a room full of gear, so think about it like that, you wouldn’t walk into a room full of amps and FX and start by turning everything ON would you? You would plug into an amp, get a good basic tone, then turn on any effects one at a time and build up your sound…likewise with any multiFX.
▀ Set the EQ “flat” (i.e. all settings at the half way point or 12 o’clock) this gives you a neutral starting point so that the EQ isn’t colouring the tone too much yet.
▀ Put the gain up to about a quarter to half a turn so you can hear the gain character.
Jimi Hendrix used a Marshall Super Lead 100 watt head with 2 x 412 Quad Boxes running VERY loud so we start by selecting the STACK Amp setting. I’ve gone for some rather extreme EQ settings for this tone so I cranked all settings to full, i.e., BASS on 100, MIDDLE on 100 and TREBLE on 100. I’ve only put the GAIN up to 15 because much of the gain on this tone came mostly from the fuzz pedal. If you run too much gain on the amp and then run more distortion with the pedal this will give us too much compression and we’ll lose clarity in the sound.
4. The Effects
In this section we’ll cover how to modify the pickup tone to allow for whatever guitar you are working with. We will also go over the Fuzz Effect and add some Reverb for space.
▀ I’ve used a strat so I have a single coil in the bridge so the tone is close enough to the Strat Hendrix used. If you have a Humbucker in the Bridge position you might want to use the ‘Hum-Single’ converter feature in the COMP/FX1 section of the ME-80. This will thin out your thick humbucker tone and get closer to the biting tone of a Strat.
▀ The gain for the solo is from a combination of amp gain and pedal gain. I’ve used a FUZZ setting in the OD/DS Section of the ME-80 and turned up the DRIVE to 47, the TONE to 42.
▀ I’ve used the EQ Section to boost even more frequencies to simulate the Cranked Amp Tone. Turn on the EQ And select BASS 55, MIDDLE 60, and TREBLE 60, with LEVEL at 50.
▀ There’s also some reverb on this sound as the room the amp was recorded in added some “space” to the sound. So I’ve selected a HALL Reverb and turned it up to 25.
There you have it guys the guitar tone from “Foxy Lady”. If you have an ME-80 and don’t want to have to program this tone yourself you can download it at this link HERE
Others in the series:
► Who is Joshua Munday?
► 4 Elements of Guitar Tone
► BOSS ME-80 Classic Patches Medley
► Brian May’s ‘Killer Queen’ Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Another Brick In The Wall – Part II’ (Pink Floyd) Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Panama’ (Van Halen) Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Hotel California’ (The Eagles) Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Bad to the Bone’ (George Thorogood) Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Crazy Train’ (Ozzy Osbourne) Guitar Tone Dissected
► ‘Killing In The Name’ (Rage Against The Machine) Guitar Tone Dissected