Roland buys DW

The rumours have been swirling for days, and now Roland Corporation and Drum Workshop have confirmed that they have reached a definitive agreement for Roland to acquire all outstanding shares of Drum Workshop.

A joint statement says the combination of expertise and reach of Roland and Drum Workshop will unleash the next generation of breakthrough acoustic and electronic drums and percussion products, accelerate product development, and push the boundaries of innovation for drummers.

Drum Workshop CEO Chris Lombardi and co-founders Don Lombardi and John Good will continue to serve in their existing capacities at the company, focusing on creating products that inspire drummers everywhere, the statement says.

“In the world of acoustic drums, Drum Workshop stands distinctly apart,” says Gordon Raison, chief executive officer of Roland. “We have always been impressed and in awe of their products, their people and their craftsmanship in every dimension. Drum Workshop shares the same legacy and dedication to musical innovation that we have at Roland, and we are committed to supporting Drum Workshop in doing what they do best.”

Roland directors in Japan explain the reasons for the acquisition as follows:

“Building on the success of the recent V-Drums Acoustic Design (VAD) series launch, Roland aims to further expand our drum business. To further advance our efforts to become the world leader in drums, we have determined that a partnership with DW will greatly contribute to acquiring a dominant position in the drum market and further our development opportunities.

“Drum Workshop has outstanding people, innovative product development capabilities, and world-class drum and percussion brands including DW Drums and Hardware, Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP), Latin Percussion (LP), Gretsch Drums and Slingerland. With the combination of the major brands in both electronic drums and acoustic drums, the partnership will endeavour to expand the global drum market.”

Roland notes that with its dominant share of the electronic drum market, to further develop its drum business, “we need to aggressively approach the acoustic drum and hybrid-drum market”.

“By adding Drum Workshop and their respective brands to our drum portfolio, integrating DW’s product design resources, and driving innovation by game changers for the benefit of our drummer customers, we believe that we can further expand our drum business,” the directors explain.

They believe the purchase will benefit Roland’s innovation push.

“Through joint development with DW, we aim to develop and globally launch innovative hybrid-drum products that combine acoustic and electronic technologies that have never been seen before. We will also work to expand our development in the service field through collaboration with DW’s software, content, and service offerings,” says a statement from Japan.

“Roland’s philosophy in driving innovation across all forms of expression is complementary with ours, and we are excited to join forces in this relationship that will benefit artists and musicians everywhere,” says Chris Lombardi, chief executive officer of Drum Workshop, Inc.

“For the past 50 years, our goal has always been to inspire, motivate and solve problems for drummers,” adds Don Lombardi, founder and chief product officer of Drum Workshop. “I have always been a fan of the innovation coming from Roland, and we are thrilled to partner with them on inventing solutions for future generations.”

All eyes now are on the future of DW’s e-drum plans, with the American company’s initial alliance with GEWA scrapped. It is expected that Roland will take over the much-anticipated DWe project.

DWe was launched at the 2018 Frankfurt Musikmesse. At the time, the Californian company’s  DWe trigger shells, hardware and rack systems were shown alongside GEWA’s G9 Drummer’s Workstation.

DW later withdrew from the collaboration to work on its own electronic products which are yet to be revealed.

The Japanese directors’ report values the acquisition at US$65million, for which Roland gets 100% of the stock in DW.

6 thoughts on “Roland buys DW

  1. DW’s wireless new head triggers – which have been demonstrated to work perfectly with practically 0 latency, even from 15 ft away, will revolutionize digital drum technology. Roland obviously didn’t want to be pushed off the cliff.

    1. Roland being pushed off the cliff …. By DW …. Right … The future it’s in the electronics, not acoustics, man ..

      1. Drums aren’t an Xbox…with a bunch of perpetual children waiting for the next faster, model with a cooler graphics card. As far as professional players go… the future may include evolving electronics, but electronic drums will never replace acoustic drums……ever. In-conjunction with….yes. Until they make electronic drums that actually represent a real drum, in every possible way (and it has yet to happen), it won’t be the “future” (regardless of what marketing the manufacturer uses). Btw….not a THING do go wrong with “wireless” heads, is there……

  2. Lets hope DW’s quality and sound doesn’t go down the crapper because of this, it seems to happen when big corporations buy smaller companies.

    1. Their “sound” won’t change….but, the QC, and customer service, has already gone down the crapper. That company outgrew the QC controls that put them on the map, at least a decade ago. That’s one of the reasons a few high-profile players have jumped ship. As you said… A company grows too big, and then there are too many management positions between the guys doing the work, and the executives, to keep an eye on the day-to-day operations. Then, the brass spends all their time catering to the A-list of endorsements, knowing the marketing value. If you’re old enough, then you’ve seen it enough times to where you darn-near predict when it’s going to happen. They’ll come out with an $8K collectors kit with $5K of electronic components, and call it the “best”…. (as long as your internet doesn’t go out, or bottleneck)

      1. We don’t usually reply to comments, but there are some factual errors in this one. DW has developed its own sounds, so the sound will certainly change!

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