I see Christopher already posted, but this took me some time to put together so I am posting it anyway and hopefully between the 2 you get what you are looking for.
[u]I guess this has something to do with DAWs[/u]
It looks like a piece of software, that can act as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). A DAW itself is just a piece of software that accepts audio signal and allows you to record and manipulate it on a pc or mac. Personally, I use Audacity which is free, but that is only used when we want to record.
[u]The description says "a brand new signature collection of amps, speaker cabinets, pedals and signal processors meticulously modeled after the actual equipment used by the legendary guitarist and available NOW in a stunningly designed Mac and PC compatible desktop app and plug-in for your DAW."[/u]
So this sounds like what you are buying is an effects package like you would find on a effects board such as a Zoom G3N as an example (I use this one in my example because it is the one we use and I can speak to it).
Effects boards (and by the sounds of it this product) provide a series of software patches designed to add an audio effect to your guitar signal. These effects can be anything – delay, reverb, crunch, and so on. It is pretty much limitless. And in addition, most boards and it sounds like this software package as well, will include some presets that will give you a simulated sound of a Vox AC30, or a Mesa or a certain cab, or a certain pedal etc. Again, it is pretty much endless what can be replicated through software.
But I am confused on if you can use this software download as a DAW. The website leads me to believe you can, but in the line above it states “desktop app and plug-in for your DAW." So this could mean that perhaps you already have a DAW you are using (such as Audacity in my case) and you want to stick with it rather than use something new, which would require a new learning curve. DAW software can be complicated to come to grips with, so in my case, I would not want to switch to something new as what I already have works for what I want to do.
[u]There is a video on the site showing someone playing a guitar demonstrating different Brian May sounds with this software. I thought though that this type of software was just used in recording rather than actual playing. Am I wrong?[/u]
Yes, your mistaken on this. Hopefully these chain diagrams make sense:
#1) Guitar -> Amplifier
#2) Guitar -> EB -> Amplifier
#3) Guitar -> EB -> Interface -> DAW
#1) would be your normal setup. Plug your guitar into your amp and play away. Your guitar audio signal can only be shaped by the controls on your guitar and your amp (gain, volume, master volume etc)
#2) would be plugging your guitar into an Effects Board (or this software package *) and then into your amp. This would allow you to be very creative with your sound and you could pretty much shape anything you wanted provided the effects you are looking for are included in your software. Your effects board would be plugged into the clean channel of the amp.
#3) basically the same as #2) with the exception that instead of plugging into your amp, the EB would be plugged into an Interface such as a mixer (I use an ArtTube) or as shown in the video on the website, an AXE I/O. This interface gets plugged into your pc (mine uses a USB cable). Now that you are sending your guitar signal into your PC and the DAW software, you have a very clean signal to record which you can then modify or manipulate in any number of ways depending on what you want to do with it. But that is way too complicated for this discussion. The output audio would typically be played through headphones or studio monitors.
[u]With this software (and whatever associated hardware I would need) would I be able to play my guitar and have it sound like this (minus the good guitar skills) in real time? Does it also function sort of like a pedal where I could send my guitar signal through this and then into an amp?[/u]
Yes and yes.
* and other options:
In #2) above I reference plugging your guitar into this software package. To do this you do need an interface. I mention 2 but I also use an iRig2. Its pretty cheap and available on Amazon.
The reason I am talking about this, is that with the iRig2 and a software app called Tone Bridge installed on your smart phone or tablet, you can get a huge array of pre-made tones – for instance Queen. So you might want to try this 1st. The app is free and iRig2 is cheap. By downloading the app you can search for what is available and I can say from experience so far so good. The tones created on Tone Bridge sound pretty close to the real thing to me.
Hope this helped.
This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!