Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keith Veschecco, TRS Audio 1990 profile, Erie PA

Musician/producer Keith Veshecco passed away in his home in Millcreek Township, Erie Co., PA on August 18, 2012. I interviewed Keith for an article called "A Musician's Guide to Local Recording Studios," which was published in the Erie Times-News tab Showcase on June 21, 1990.

T.R.S. Twang Recording Studio

When Keith Veschecco and his partner, John Mazza, opened Twang Recording Studio (T.R.S.) in 1977, it was to record their own band, Twang. Soon, however, the monthly loan payment for the equipment loomed over them, and they opened the studio to other bands as a way to pay the bills. The list of bands that recorded at the old T.R.S. location- Keith's house- includes Rick DiBello, the Peens, Tri-Pod Jimmie, Guardian, the Generic Beat, and Blynde Dog, to name a few.

They opened their new sixteen-track studio at 2617 Peach, Suite 203, in 1988, and charge $35 per hour to record bands. The studio occupies two rooms in an old public school building. The recording studio measures thirty feet by 28 feet, large enough to accommodate the sixty-member choir that recently recorded here. Veshecco said the room is bigger than the one at the Record Plant in New York City where John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen had recorded. The high ceiling at T.R.S. helps acoustically, said Veshecco.

In the past year, Talon, T.H. Latona, the Ed Russell Trio and Marty O'Connor have recorded full-length albums at T.R.S. O'Connor's release is available on cassette and compact disc. In addition, three artists have recorded singles at T.R.S.: Knightwitch, the Change and Bob Guenther.

Instruments are also available at T.R.S., including guitars, basses, guitar amplifiers, MIDI keyboards, a MIDI drum machine and drum kit. There is also a Macintosh computer for MIDI programs. The recording formats are one-quarter-inch and one-half-inch reel-to-reel tape. Veshecco said he wants to see where technology is headed before he moves up to a larger format. 

"What makes a good recording," said Veschecco, "is taking time getting things right." The performance, not the sound, is what makes the music sell. Band members are usually nervous when they first go into the studio. "The longer they're here, the more comfortable they are," he said. "So, it makes more sense to spend 100 hours in a $50 per-hour studio than spending fifty hours in a $100 per-hour studio. You can spend more time on a project and spend less money and still get a goo quality product."

Dirty Looks signed on with Atlantic Records as a result of In Your Face, an album they recorded at T.R.S. and released on the independent Mirror Records. The basic track from the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You"(on the Cool From the Wire album), was recorded at T.R.S. and then remixed by Atlantic. "This proves that the quality we can deliver can make it to a national CD," said Vechecco.

Henrik Ostergaard of Dirty Looks recommended T.R.S. "If you want to make good-sounding stuff at an affordable price, you should use T.R.S.," he said. "And if you want to release an LP, CD, or whatever, that's the place."

I'm hoping that my niche will be bringing bands from the bigger cities here to record," said Veshecco of his future plans.

T.R.S. is able to deliver finished cassettes and compact discs by working with outside pressing and duplicating sources. It can also duplicate small runs of cassettes in-house.

"We can help people if they let us," said Veshecco. "If it isn't right, we won't accept a lower-quality level. Our name is on there, too."

Veschecco and Mazza learned recording techniques on their own and through a course they took at Agency Recording Studio in Cleveland in the late seventies. They also spent one month in Cleveland around that time working on the Clockwise album.

Recording hours are flexible. "We try to cater by recording artists at their most comfortable time," said Veshecco. For rock groups, this usually translates to recording at night.

-article ©Debbi Lyon 1990, 2012.


  1. I grew up with a James Veshecco in the 50's. I wonder if they were related. He was one of the neighbor kids.