Walter Unveils a New Perspective on Metalworking

New web site uses metalworking sounds to turn visitors into composers and allows them to share their work with others.

Related Topics:

Related Suppliers

A metalworking shop can be a noisy place. For dedicated metalworkers like cutting tool manufacturer Walter AG of Tübingen, Germany, and its U.S. affiliate Walter USA, LLC, though, that noise can also be a form of music. They recently set out to prove it with a one of a kind project called "Walter Metal Music."

To start the project, professional musician Jorg Honecker was invited in to the Walter AG plant in Tübingen to explore the plant floor and seek out interesting sounds. Honecker then revisited the shop and recorded those sounds. “I was particularly interested,” he said, “in machines that ‘had their own groove,’ like the shrill whine of a drill ramping up to higher speeds or the growl of a heavy-duty milling cutter biting into a workpiece. Honecker manipulated those sounds and placed them into a format that allows others to collage them together to form new sonic combinations—new forms of metal music.

The results were unveiled in mid-September in the form of a web site,, where a video documentary provides a look behind the scenes. Concurrently, an interface to this web site was featured in the Walter booth at EMO where visitors were surprised, amused and amazed by the musical compositions they were able to create. In addition, Walter sponsored live concerts at the show that were based on these shop floor sounds. (See for more details.)

It’s a matter of perspective, said a Walter spokesperson in commenting on the company’s reason for a project as unusual as Walter Metal Music; Walter wished to broaden people’s perspective when it comes to metalworking and show that there are fascinating aspects to this ancient yet constantly evolving trade that we generally don’t consider.

Those unable to get to EMO can compose some music of their own by visiting the above mentioned web site, then share it with the social media community via Facebook, Twitter and as an Internet link.

Walter USA, LLC offers an extensive line up of cutting tools for milling, drilling, turning, boring and specialized tooling for unique applications through its competence brands Walter Valenite, Walter Titex and Walter Prototyp. As well as multi-level service programs through its Walter Multiply brand. Headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin the company has a strong network of distributors and field engineers across North America. The Walter name is synonymous with productivity, thanks to more than 80 years of developing cutting tools and inserts that set new standards in production. Walter USA, LLC combines over 75 years of U.S.-based tooling production with long-standing traditions of quality and innovation.