My name is Cat Neri and I am a sound designer for video games.
I grew up in a musical family so I had an interest in audio early on in life. My mom plays recorder, my dad plays recorder and guitar, and I learned guitar and oboe. Nearly every night we would play trios together. While in high school we bought our first computer and this allowed me to start fiddling with digital audio and MIDI. I started recording myself and making tracks to play along with.
After high school I went through a few audio courses at a local recording studio, Omega Studios. I focused on studio techniques, live sound reinforcement, and music synthesis. I started interning there shortly after my school completion and within a few months in 1998 I was hired on as a full-time staff engineer. My responsibilities varied greatly ranging from tape duplication to full orchestral recordings. Pro Tools was just starting to become more main-stream in studios and when we purchased our systems we also went through the Avid training and received the Avid Certified Pro Tools User certificate.
It was during my time at Omega that I discovered a video game called EverQuest… While I was growing up I always had a Nintendo and was a pretty wicked SMB player but EverQuest was something very different. It was pretty magical being in this massively multiplayer online world. At some point it dawned on me that somewhere someone was making audio for this thing and I wanted to be that person. So I started dabbling in sound design in my off hours at the studio, made a demo, and researched online about various gaming companies and how to get my foot in the door.
In 2001 I got a job offer in Salt Lake City, UT at Acclaim Entertainment. I was hired on as an Audio Lead and was over the Legends of Wrestling IP. It was amazing experience where I got to engineer several location recording sessions and work with some really talented people learning the ins and outs of the industry. Sadly, that studio closed in December of 2002 but I was fortunate enough to pick up some contract work at Microsoft Game Studios shortly after and assist on a few highly acclaimed sport titles.
Eventually in January 2004 I was hired by Sony Online Entertainment in San Diego… creators of EverQuest! I was a Sound Designer on the initial launch of EverQuest 2 and then became Audio Lead on future expansions and adventure packs. I also accrued a myriad of additional titles while at SOE on various platforms.
After 4 years it was time for a change and there was a new studio in the area called Trion. Several former co-workers that were already at Trion had been asking me to come over so and in 2008 I joined the team. It was an exciting opportunity to expand my experience on new platforms and after 5 years in development we released Defiance, at MMOTPS that was co-created with the Syfy channel bringing forth a whole new “transmedia” style of entertainment.
Currently I’m part of an exciting new start up studio called Molten Games. Come check us out and see what awesome things we are working on!