The lead vocal track needs special attention so it can maintain its visibility and impact throughout the entire song.
1. You need to determine what the best sounding signal path is for that specific vocalist:
This is the most time consuming overly repetitious task. But in the end, when you find the right gear that fits your vocalist, your pay off will be golden.
2. Mic placement is an important in getting that great vocal sound:
There are two issue to consider. The position of the mic in the room. You need to find the the best part of the room to record in. Not all corners, spaces and walls sound alike. This needs to be done way before the vocalist enters the room/studio by trial and error.
The other issue is position of the mic, to the singer. There are 2 factors to consider that effect the sound. One is the angle of the mic, to the singer and the other is the space between the mic and the singer. both are very important factors.
The Proximity Effect- The closer the singer is to the mic, the more bass frequencies are enhanced. This can be used as a tool, by having the singer move closer or farther away from the mic, depending on the mood of the vocal passage.
The mic of choice for most singers is a cardioid condenser mic and a good starting point for this mic is about six to eight inches away form the mic capsule. If the voice sounds to thin, then you move the singer up a bit to use the proximity effect. Be careful, moving only an inch or so will increase the bass and fullness allot. If the sound is too big, then move the singer back a bit. Its a balancing act.
If your using an omnidirectional mic or an omnidirectional pattern setting, there will be no proximity effect. so moving the singer back and forth will only create distance and the bass frequencies will not be enhanced as the singer moves toward the mic.
The omni pattern is is a good mic to use if the singer cannto stay still and/or is inexperienced in vocal recording. but this mic has its fall backs, since it picks up all directions equally. you need a very quiet room to use this mic.
The effects of a condenser mic on axis and off axis with the singers mouth are very important. When a condenser mic is on axis to the singers mouth, the sound is harsher and brighter. When the mic is off axis to the singers mouth, the sound gets a bit warmer and darker. This is due to the sound hitting the mic capsule.The mic capsule captures the singers chest resonance and by changing the axis of the capsule, you change the sound that mic records. An off axis tilt towards the ceiling can help prevent popping and sibilance.