Lady Gaga’s debut album was a worldwide smash, and the 5th single off the record, “Paparazzi” continued a streak of hit singles that would last for years. The song was written by Gaga and former manager Rob Fusari, who also co-produced the track. The mix was done by Robert Orton and mastered by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering. Here’s what to listen for.
1. The vocal in the first verse has a short stereo 1/16th note delay to give it some space, yet keep in almost dry and in your face.
2. An additional longer delay (sounds like an 1/8th note triplet) is added to the vocal when the choruses begin. This fills the spaces in between the phrases towards the end. Mixer Robert Orton likes to use delays much more than reverbs, and this track is a great example of that.
3. The bridge changes to a lightly flanged vocal that’s panned fairly wide (about 10 and 2 o’clock) leaving a big space in the middle.
4. There’s a fair amount of compression on the vocal but it’s really done tastefully in that you hardly hear it pump or pull. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that there were several compressors used in series to keep it so steady without any side-effects.
Isn’t it fun to listen inside a big Lady Gaga hit?