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Roland Romanelli

Accordionist - Pianist - Composer - Arranger

  • Optimizing the sound of an accordion is far from easy. I was fully involved in the design of this new Prodipe AL21 mic pack, and, as you're well aware, I've always been hard to please when it comes to getting that perfect sound. Myself, my friend Ludovic Lanen, and the whole Prodipe team did our utmost to find a way to reproduce the sound of the accordion.


    Of all the components in a mic, the one that has to be infallible is the capsule. Prodipe have developed an electret capsule that can take up to 140dB and recreate all the energy and nuances of your instrument. And what's more, its excellent linearity respects the timbre and sound of the accordion.


    We also spent a lot of time thinking about how the three individual mics should be attached to the instrument. 


    We decided that two mics would be best for the right hand manual. In fact, trying to capture the overall sound of the accordion with a single mic means that the mic has to be positioned pretty far from the instrument itself, which is a major disadvantage when you're surrounded by high volume instruments, like the drums.


    The two right hand manual mics can be positioned close enough to the instrument to receive all the notes and harmonies, but none of the parasites from other instruments.


    To make sure that the mics are in the best place to record the sound, we thought very carefully about the types of clamps we would need: two to suspend the mics over the right hand manual and one for the mic over the left hand manual. Each clamp has a Velcro fastening for easy attachment and removal.


    I had a great time helping in the development of this accordion mic pack and I've been using it for live performances and most of my recording work ever since. So I know for sure that it'll be a superbly valuable piece of equipment for all accordionists.

  • Over the years Prodipe has become a benchmark for audio pros. I regularly use Prodipe mics for my recording work. I find them excellent.


Roland Romanelli, born May 1946 in Algeria, has followed in the family tradition. At 15 he won the world accordion championships in Pavie, Italy.

When he came to Paris in 1966 he was first noticed by Mouloudji, then Colette Renard, but it was Barbara who made him the musician he is today. Twenty years they performed together; her favourite accordionist even composed the song A peine (Hardly) especially for her.

Apart from Barbara he has also worked with over a hundred different artists, either on stage or in the studio, artists such as Marie-Paule Belle, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Serge Lama, Nicolas Peyrac, Michel Polnareff, Charles Aznavour, Alain Barrière, Guy Béart, Patrick Bruel, Julien Clerc, Céline Dion, Johnny Hallyday, Patricia Kaas and even Marc Lavoine, Marie Laforêt, Marc Lavoine, Maria Pacôme, Pierre Perret, Michel Sardou, Stone & Charden, Line Renaud, Muriel Robin, Olivia Ruiz and Zazie.

In 1971 he was a pioneer of the synthesizer in France and in 1976 his Space album sold over 8 million copies around the world. In the 80s he was sought after by both the advertising sector (Dim, Findus, Garnier, Wonder, Woolmark, etc.) and the cinema sector: Pierre Boutron for Les Années Sandwiches (The Sandwich Years), Alexandre Arcady for Union Sacrée (Brothers in Arms) and Claude Zidi for Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar [theme tune co-written with Jean-Jacques Goldman]. He also worked with Thierry Binisti, Joyce Bunuel, Miguel Courtois, Josée Dayan and Serge Ménard.

He has often joined forces with Cosma, Bruno Coulais, Georges Delerue, Francis Lai and Philippe Sardes and his TV credits include Des Racines et des Ailes (At home and abroad), made-for-TV films such as Le Voyage de La Veuve (The widow's journey) by Philippe Laïk, and series such as Joséphine, Ange Gardien (Joséphine, guardian angel). He is also involved in the world of theatre, working alongside the likes of Bedos, Bigard, Brialy and Perrin.

Jérôme Savary and he worked together in 2000 on Irma la Douce at Chaillot, starring Clotilde Courau, and continued right through to 2008 with Don Quichotte contre l'ange bleu (Don Quixote versus the blue angel) the 'opéra comique' starring Arielle Dombasle. Along the way there was L'air de Paris (Air of Paris) starring Patrick Dupont at the Espace Cardin, Mon alter Hugo (My Alter-Hugo) with Gérard Berliner at the Théâtre Marigny, Mademoiselle Faust with Manon Landowski and Les années St Germain (The St Germain Years) with Corinne Cousin. They also took these plays all over Europe.

In 2008 he penned his first musical, Barbara, 20 years of love, in recognition of "the lady I owe everything to". The première took place at the Théâtre de Paris and was performed to glowing reviews throughout Paris and the provinces. He and his muse, Rébecca, planned other forays into the musical scene. One of these projects, Les Nuits d'une Demoiselle (The nights of a young lady) with Pierre Hébertot, an anthology of saucy, burlesque songs saw the light of day in 2010.

In 2011 he returned to his instrument of choice, the accordion, and its lesser known little brother, the accordina, to play jazz, especially with top drummer Claude Salmiéri and Fred Manoukian's Big Band.