Recording Great Backup Vocals
To record backup vocals, you can either track each part separately by using lead vocal microphone placement techniques or you can have all the backup singers sing at once into one or two microphones. If you do the latter, you can either use a stereo pair of microphones, a figure-8 microphone, or an omnidirectional microphone.
If you use a stereo pair of mics, set them up in a coincident X-Y pattern. Have the vocalists stand next to each other facing the mics at 3 or 4 feet away. Either large- or small-diaphragm mics work best for this setup. Check out the following illustration for a neat top view of this arrangement.
If you choose to use a figure-8 mic, the singers can stand on opposite sides of the mic. The advantage of this setup is that the singers can look at each other while they sing.
An omnidirectional mic can also work well for backup vocals. In this case, the singers stand in a circle around the mic, as shown in the following.