eDrum News

DWe Electronic Drum Kit: Announcement and Launch Information

Learn about the newly announced DWe wireless electronic drums, what makes them unique and why you should get excited about the launch!

Fresh off the back of news that Roland has acquired DW, the first electronic drum kit from the Santa Monica-based manufacturer has just been unveiled – a unique electronic-acoustic hybrid kit called the DWe, that boasts wireless technology powering its drum triggers.

Electronic drums in disguise

We’ve covered electronic drums that look like acoustic drums before, but the DWe elevates the acoustic look even further.

These drums are real DW acoustic drums, with the same construction as real DW drums on the market currently, including the shells, hardware and bearing edges. In fact, this kit can be used as an acoustic kit too, just swap the mesh heads for acoustic ones.

Aside from the rubber cymbal pads, although reaching the same proportions as real cymbals, electronic kits are usually given away by a hefty wad of cables that have to be wrapped around the kit.

The cable snake can also cause hassle when it comes to setting up your kit, as the placement of each drum or cymbal is often dictated by the length, or lack thereof, that is provided on each lead. This kit is different because it’s wireless, which means you’re free to set out your kit as you wish.

About the DWe wireless electronic drum technology

The phrase “wireless triggers” will probably sound alarm bells in the heads of many technology-minded eDrummers, due to one thing: latency. Surely existing wireless technology won’t work, for example when you try to use Bluetooth headphones with electronic drums? But according to DW, the DWe will have no such issues.

Each drum contains a wireless trigger, which connects sans-cable to a receiver box, with everything run by AA batteries. Surprisingly, there is no latency when playing these drums, and the batteries last for over a year under normal playing conditions, according to DW.

That’s because each signal from a drum or cymbal is extremely short and fast, and actually is around 10-times faster than MIDI when it comes to signal transmission.

And when the drum is not being hit, the wireless is turned off completely. It’s that combination of the short signal and the ability for the wireless to turn off when not being hit, that allows for such a long battery life.

What cymbals does the DWe come with?

Not many details have been shared by DW at this point, aside from the fact they’ll be metal and support three zones. Images suggest that the playing surface is metal with sensors beneath.

It’s not clear if this design will be shared with Roland, or if the cymbals will be a new range designed by DW, considering the DWe has been in development since before Roland’s acquisition.

Thomas Lang testing the new DWe electronic drum kit

What drum module does the DWe use?

The DWe doesn’t have a drum module like eDrums currently on the market. In fact, DW founder Don Lombardi calls it a “no-brainer” (dad joke evidently intended)

The drum module is just a receiver box, which connects to a computer and is powered by the upcoming DW Soundworks software.

In terms of sounds, the drum module will feature real multi-sampled kits, recorded in a very similar way to Superior Drummer, in a studio with 15 microphones including close-up and room mics. This is a very exciting proposition since many eDrummers already use VST drum libraries for their real drum samples, and feels like the way the industry is going following the release of the Pearl Mimic Pro.

Jazz fusion and rock drummer Chad Wackerman was involved in the recording of the sound samples, and spoke about the process during the DWe’s announcement:

“It was meticulously recorded, so you’re getting a very audiophile sound with all these different kits that we’ve sampled so far. That’s going to be an ongoing thing too, there’s going to be a pretty massive drum and cymbal, percussion sound library with this.”

Chad Wackerman

Drummers will also want to know about the expandability of the drum kit, though at the moment this isn’t 100% clear. It was revealed that the receiver would support 30 wireless inputs, though ‘inputs’ were not clearly defined, and could be referring to instruments, sounds or pad zones.

With three zones per pad, at the very least that would equate to 15 different drums or cymbal pads, which is comparable to mid-to-high-end kits on the market currently.

When is the DWe launching?

At the moment, the DWe announcement has been more of a “sneak peak”, with a full unveiling due sometime in 2023.

The kit has been in development for some time, with an initial public mention way back in 2018. But it’s unclear how advanced the development process is, and there’s no guarantee that it will be launched in 2023, or simply receive an unveiling of more product details.

How much will the DWe cost?

As with the official launch date, no official pricing has been announced. It is highly likely that the DWe will be at the high end of the eDrum world, likely comparable to a Roland VAD 706, or possibly even higher, given the cutting-edge wireless technology and American-made DW drum shells.

If you’re looking for a cheaper kit that uses wireless technology, it might be some wait, as there is no word on if this tech will make its way to Roland drums or remain exclusive to DW. 

Another possibility is a lower-priced PDP version, which is DW’s more budget sub-brand for acoustic drums. However, it is likely that the new technology will be limited to the flagship DW range for some time before trickling down to lesser drum kits.

Is DW still partnered with Gewa drums?

The DWe brand was originally unveiled as a partnership with Gewa at Musikmesse 2018. However, the DW branding has all but disappeared from the resulting Gewa G9 Workstation kit, and the two companies are now going their separate ways. It is unlikely that Gewa and DW will work together again, given DW’s recent acquisition by Roland.

Is the DWe a good electronic drum kit?

The DWe has all the makings of a great electronic drum kit when it is launched. However, as with most new technology, the initial cost is likely to be high, and early adopters often are the guinea pigs helping to test and refine the product.

If you’re interested in this new kit, be sure to check back at eDrumHub for updates, as we’ll update this page when we get new information.

By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

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