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A CDE Definition

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virtual instrument

(1) A physical gauge that measures and/or controls motion, distance, temperature, weight or some other physical property that is simulated in the computer via software.

(2) A musical instrument played on a computer. For years, computers have been used to simulate pianos and other musical instruments, allowing people to get a taste of the instrument without having the physical device. See synthesizer.

Play Piano Online
These Flash-based virtual pianos are played online by clicking the piano keys with a mouse. For more information, visit and


A device that generates sound by creating waveforms electronically (such as subtractive or FM synthesis) or from stored samples of musical instruments (wave table synthesis). Although rudimentary electronic instruments were developed as far back as the 1920s, it was Robert Moog (pronounced "Mogue") who popularized the synthesizer in the 1960s. The term itself was coined after his devices, which were the first to combine an electronic (piano-style) keyboard with extremely flexible sound creation capabilities. In the 1970s, the Minimoog portable synthesizer was widely accepted. See MIDI and speech synthesis.

Recalling Times Past
Looking very much like the original portable device of the early 1970s, this 21st century transformation of the Minimoog Voyager Signature Edition synthesizer was introduced in 2002. (Image courtesy of Moog Music Inc.,

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Before/After Your Search Term
virtual hard drivevirtual IP
virtual headphonesvirtual IP address
virtual headsetvirtual ISP
virtual home buttonvirtual job
virtual hostvirtual keyboard
virtual hostingvirtual kill switch
virtual hypertextvirtual LAN
virtual I/Ovirtual library
virtual imagevirtual life
virtual input/outputvirtual machine

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