Airhorn - Why I Hate Hearing DJs Use It!


Samples are a great way to spice up a DJ set, drop in a tasteful Kylie Minogue acapella over that dank deep-hardstyle-swing track song, it always works, maybe some film quotes and if that Hi-Hat isn't house-y enough just layer on another Hi-Hat loop in sync. All good and well. Lots of room for individual expression.

Then there is the airhorn. It's beginnings are noble, that of Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae, but it has become the most tasteless and overused sample in the history of bad DJ mixes. 

Instead of being a running gag like the Wilhelm scream, it just screams obnoxiously out of tune to the rest of the song, covering bad transitions or ruining the the smooth flow of the tracks. Every time I hear it in a song, it makes me cringe. Can people expand their sample repertoire to something beyond the Pryda Snare and the Airhorn? Not only is it a cliché but it destroys any immersion people have in a track.

The worst offenders are the people who continue to do it on every drop, where if the sample is triggered live, often ends up out of time and completely unmixed to the track levels. 

If I'm searching for songs to download for performance and hear an airhorn in it, I will instantly reject it for fear of people assuming I triggered the sample and lynching me there and then, I know I would do the same.

There is a reason MLG videos adopted it alongside the horrifically saturated screams, drops and SFX in their videos. It is frankly only acceptable nowadays in parody music and videos. See at the top of the article and below.