SoundCloud is a fantastic streaming service and social media platform, when it's working. But, sometimes, when uploading your tracks to SoundCloud, it just won't work. If you're getting the error message “this track is being processed” on SoundCloud and you want a fix, then you're in the right place.
In this article, we're going to cover the reasons why your track might be stuck in processing and how you can fix it.
What Does “This Track is Being Processed” Mean on SoundCloud?
If your track is processing on SoundCloud it means that the server could be backed up and needs some time to process your track before it can be played. Leave it 5-10 minutes and come back to it. If it's still playing up, then you may be uploading your music in the wrong way.
Another reason your track could be being processed is due to SoundCloud's servers. Sometimes they go down, so it's always good to check a down detector to see if this is the issue first. If SoundCloud is down, come back tomorrow to check if it's working again.
Waited 10 minutes, servers aren't down and it's still not working?
How To Fix “This Track is Being Processed” on SoundCloud
There are a few reasons why your SoundCloud track could be stuck in processing mode and it's not SoundCloud's fault. If you've tried everything else, it's often down to your file type or artwork. We'll cover each reason below, so you can troubleshoot it one by one.
There are 4 ways you can stop your track from being processed on SoundCloud:
- Check your track file type – upload the correct file type and try again. SoundCloud only accepts AIFF, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR and WMA files.
- Check your track file size & length – SoundCloud can only process uploads that are lower than 5GB in size and tracks that are shorter than 6 hours 45 minutes long. Anything else can't be transcoded.
- Delete your track & re-upload – sometimes computers just glitch out. Before you upload your track again, deleted it and try re-uploading it. This can often fix your issue.
- Wait for the server to come back online – check down detector to see if SoundCloud is live. If it isn't, wait until it's live again.
Why is SoundCloud Removing My Tracks?
If you have violated SoundCloud's Terms of Service, they can remove your track(s) from the platform. This is often the case with remixes or bootlegs of copyrighted tunes. Make sure you aren't breaking any copyright rules. If you haven't violated the Terms of Service, contact SoundCloud support.
SoundCloud uses an automatic copyright detection tool that will analyze your audio and scan it for any copyrighted audio. When you upload a track, their system checks your upload against a database of tracks that copyright owners have asked them to block. If you've heavily used a sample that's popular, you'll be likely to get flagged for copyright.
But what about the millions of remixes that are up on SoundCloud unofficially?
There are a few ways that you can *cheat* the SoundCloud copyright detection tool and fly under the radar when you want to release a remix. If you do this, your track still may be subject to removal later down the line, but we've used this technique a few times and had tracks up for years that were flagged originally.
Make sure you don't submit this remix for monetisation afterwards. SoundCloud will 100% pull it down if you do this.
When doing this you'll also want to be aware of SoundCloud's copyright strike system, as you can be permanently banned from the platform if caught doing this 3 times.
How To Stop SoundCloud From Taking Down Your Remixes
1. Don't name your remix after the original song or call it a bootleg
This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you name your song after the name of the original song, then it's easier for SoundCloud to match it with the database and therefore take your music down.
Additionally, if you name your track a “bootleg”, it's an instant giveaway that you don't own the rights to the vocals, stems or master track that you've made a remix of and have ripped it from somewhere illegally. Maybe you've made your own DIY acapella using the instrumental and original.
There are of course remixes up that use the original name and put bootleg in the title, but if you haven't changed the vocals much or done anything to pitch them/morph them – this is an instant giveaway.
You'll notice on SoundCloud, many producers such as Oshi, Sam Gellaitry & others will use ambiguous names, never giving away which samples they used in a track.
2. Leave a 10-30s gap at the start of your song
By leaving a 10-30s gap at the start of your song, you can trick the SoundCloud detection system. This isn't an ideal situation because it can prevent people from listening to your remix.
It's more of a worst-case scenario option. If you've tried everything else, leaving the gap in your music will (most of the time) prevent your music from being taken down.
3. Pitch the entire track down or up
Using Audacity or any DAW of your choice, you can pitch your track down or up and circumvent the copyright detection tool this way. This is something I have personally done and it works very well, especially when you don't want audio gaps in your remixes.
Using the “change speed” function in Audacity, you can change your track 2.5-5% in speed each way, and it won't sound bad.
5% sounds a bit more extreme than 2.5, and should only be used for situations where 2.5 doesn't work.
When you change the speed of your track it will change the pitch too. I tend to find putting the pitch lower sounds better than putting it higher. This will work 99% of the time when trying to avoid the copyright detection system.
4. Use the song you're remixing more creatively
By chopping up audio and never using too much of a sample in your remix/making it unrecognisable to the detection algorithm, you can bypass it.
You can do things like chop up vocals, drum parts, basslines etc. You can also put vocals down (or up) in pitch, run them through a vocoder, autotune effect or simply just use smaller segments of them.
5. Never use more than 8 bars of the master or stems
Using less than 8 bars of the song you're remixing will prevent SoundCloud from being able to pick up any defining moments of that song, and therefore prevent your remix from being taken down. The downside of this is that you want a remix to use recognisable parts of the song.
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.