In electronic music virtual synthesis is when the sythesizer is emulating an analogue synthesizer. The Nord Lead from Clavia, a good example of virtual synthesis, is designed to look and respond like a analogue subtractive synth, like a moog, but the Nord Lead doesn't actually have analogue filters and envelope generators. It has a circuit board with DSP chips that are able simulate analogue. With virtual synthesis, or digital synthesis, you have more features and its a million times easier to use MIDI.

The main draw back of virtual synthesis is it doesn't have the character and feel of true analogue. With analogue each unit, synth or drum machine, is different and has a slightly different sound and tendencies. With virtual it's all algorithms and they all sound the same. Another draw back for the techno abled is personal modification of circuit boards is harder to figure out and carry out then modifying easy to identify analogue components.

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