Drum Workshop Inc. joins Roland Corporation as the Japanese giant acquires all outstanding DW shares

DW joins Roland Corporation
(Image credit: Future)

Roland and Drum Workshop has announced that Drum Workshop Inc. (including DW Drums, Pacific Drums and Percussion, Slingerland and Latin Percussion)  has joined the Roland Corporation, after reaching a “definitive agreement” for the Japanese electronic drum manufacturer to acquire all outstanding Drum Workshop shares. Drum Workshop will continue to operate as a standalone unit, and CEO Chris Lombardi, along with co-founders, Don Lombardi and John Good will retain leadership positions within Drum Workshop. 

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.”

A joint statement from both brands reads, “Roland is the leading global manufacturer of electronic musical instruments widely recognised for its game-changer products in the electronic drum world under its V-Drums brand and more recently with its innovative V-Drums Acoustic Design (“VAD”) series of products. 

“Drum Workshop is widely recognised as the global leader in acoustic drums and percussion, and designs, manufactures and sells an industry-leading portfolio of brands including DW Drums and Hardware, Pacific Drums and Percussion (PDP), Latin Percussion (LP), Gretsch Drums and Slingerland. 

“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.”

The announcement comes during anniversary years for the two brands, who are both celebrating 50 years in business. Roland recently announced the opening of its flagship Roland Store on London's historic Denmark Street.

The move reflects Roland's recent focus on its VAD range - acoustic drum shells fitted with Roland electronics - but DW has also shown an appetite for moving into areas outside of high-end acoustic drums and hardware.

The US brand currently produces its Moon Mic sub-bass microphone, as well as engaging in a partnership with May's Internal Drum Microphone system. DW released the DW Drum Enhancer plugin in 2018.

More crucially, during the same year, DW announced a partnership with European distributor, GEWA to produce the DWe line of electronic drums, which followed a similar acoustic shells/electronic internals concept as Roland's VAD. However, despite prototypes and mock-ups being announced at the 2018 Frankfurt Musikmesse show, the project never fully materialised for a commercial release.   

Roland CEO, Gordon Raison "In the world of acoustic drums, Drum Workshop stands distinctly apart. We have always been impressed and in awe of their products, their people and their craftsmanship in every dimension."

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

DW founder John Good adds, “I look forward to continuing to bring handcrafted, custom solutions to drummers with the partnership of Roland. Their reputation for driving product innovation is admirable, and we are looking forward to the additional support they will bring to our people, our artists and our industry partners.” 

Meanwhile co-founder Don Lombardi said of the acquisition, "For the past 50 years our goal has always been to inspire, motivate and solve problems for drummers. 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.”

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.