Live to 2 track has been my forte for many years! The tension is live enough to create a spark :-). You can do several takes and edit them together you know. It can give you the best of both worlds. Doesn’t always work, especially if the musicians don’t work to a click track, but if you’re good at editing you can accomplish something.
“Isolating” the vocalist is often considered and as we’ve discussed, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. I recently mastered a great album where the vocalist had performed live in the studio with a big band using, gawd, an SM7. It was supposed to be a “work track” but you know how that goes, she fell in love with her performance. The producer did a marvelous job of masking the sibilance and other issues and the band sounded a bit washy and monoish at times due to leakage into the vocal mike in a live studio. But the end results were hair raising!
There are other ways to get great results miking a vocal in a live studio with musicians:
— semi gobos, giving her the ability to hear everyone or nearly everyone but blocking off at least some of the issues from the mike
— Use a great hypercardioid or figure 8 mike on the vocal
— VERY careful EQ on the vocal mike during the mixing. You certainly can filter below, say, 60 Hz, and if you have excellent wide-range monitoring, slip the filter upward in frequency VERY carefull, always erring on the side of vocal fidelity while living with the leakage
— Izotope RX on the vocal track. You can eliminate drum beats between the syllables. It works, it works well. Again, not being overzealous and do not take away the baby with the bathwater!