A: In the music world, sampling typically means recording actual musical instrument or other sounds as individual tones, and then playing them on a keyboard as if you were playing a piano. These individual tones are called “samples” and they can be stored on a variety of storage media.
Virtual Instruments are software synthesizers or sample-players that can be integrated into your computer music system. Many of these come with huge dedicated sample libraries that are actually built-in to the instrument. Most are plug-ins that can be loaded directly into sequencing programs like Logic, Cubase, SONAR, Pro Tools, and Digital Performer. They are an ideal way to have instant access to thousands of great sounds.