Here is my 80’s band’s (far from perfect) rendition of Take on Me by Ah ha. (The band is The Breakfast Club, based on Long Island, NY).
In terms of my set up, I repurposed my inexpensive inexpensive Casio CTK-7200 as a controller keyboard (I also still use the internal sounds). It usually works pretty well, with some quirks. Due to one of those quirks, I only use the CTK-7200 with GP on midi channel 3.
I recently hooked up my bottom weighted keyboard (Casio PX350) to GP. I run this one exclusively through midi channel 1. But, I have to remember to turn my master volume all the way down to avoid layering GP with it (unless I want to layer it with GP for some reason).
I decided I am going to keep using these keyboards for a while. I have several duplicate backups (just bought another CTK-7200 for $86.00 on Ebay (well, actually closer to $136 with shipping and tax). So, I don’t have to tear down my rig for gigs/rehearsals. I have one set in my bedroom and one will be set up in a studio and one ready to go for gigs/outside rehearsals.
But, I am going to splurge on a new laptop with lots of ram (I currently have a Del XPS 13 with 32 GB of ram). Hopefully that will work out.
On the Ah Ha song I think I mostly used Syntronik II. It tends to be my go to for my 80s band (I only recently picked up V Collection). I also used a bit of Neo Soundstation for the big brass during the interlude.
I knew a bit about VSTs before getting into GP because I put together a proggy CD using sample libraries and soft synths (15 years ago?). So, I had that background knowledge to (slowly) get up to speed. In addition to this forum, I went back to k-v-r (more soft synth oriented and a bit younger and more rowdy). VI Control forums is also great (a more sample oriented with, it seems, more people who work in music for media, and a bit more gentile). (I used to go to Northern Sounds forum, but that is defunct, I think. VI Control seems similar to me).
Like I said, far from perfect (I rushed a bit at parts and the flute sound was too loud (it sounds like a trumpet)), but it was a fun gig.