A software application that emulates some type of hardware synthesizer. Since computer power has increased radically in the last few years, it is now feasible to have a host computer do the work previously done using hardware. Some virtual synthesizers mimic a particular vintage synthesizer, while others are more generic in nature. Modular synthesis is also supported and as computers become more and more powerful, so more and more of these virtual instruments will appear. All function in either stand-alone mode or as plug-ins.