A Catalyst XPress software package from High End Systems provided digital-media projection for Human League’s UK tour, designed by Paul Normandale and programmed and operated by Rob Sinclair. Projected Image Digital supplied the tour’s lighting rental company, Lite Alternative, with the first Catalyst XPress software package.

PID supplied the full digital media system, including the dual 2GHz PowerMac on which it runs with a PID-installed ATI9800 video card, a Decklink Black Magic video input card, and an Artistic Licence Ethernet to DMX input unit.

Video runs in all but two songs of the Human League’s set. In the 1980s, , a slide show was an integral part of their popular stage presentation, and they wanted to return visuals to the core of their show, which the Catalyst XPress system made easily possible.

Sinclair created all of the show’s playback footage; it is an amalgamation of Human League archive footage, images from digital content libraries, and new DV cam footage shot by Sinclair for the tour. It is used as a vehicle for narrative reinforcement as well as for more conventional abstract "wallpaper" effects, adding a powerful fourth dimension to the stage visuals.

Five lipstick cameras are also used onstage and are mixed into the Catalyst system via a D-TEK D-Mix Pro, also supplied by PID. Four audio inputs from the monitor console are used to change specific sections of video, and all visuals are mixed and output via the Flying Pig Systems WholeHog® 2 lighting console. The projector is a Sharpe V10.

Sinclair loves the system. "It’s reliable and very stable," he says. He’s also taking full advantage of Catalyst’s new "remote" feature, allowing him to monitor what’s happening in the onstage rack from his laptop at FOH position.

Catalyst XPress is a cost-effective version of the full Catalyst package–making the Catalyst universe more accessible to a broader selection of users, such as those on small to medium tours–like Human League–as well as smaller club installations. PID is the exclusive UK dealer for the product, and Catalyst™ XPress is now available through PID as a software only purchase.

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