Its very hard 2 give U the advice U seek.
Ive recorded drums using 1- 20 mics, my mileage has varied
A good mixer and control over each mic can get U good sounding kit, yet AIR is the best mixer
If there was such a formula, then this forum would have contained just a FAQ thread, and we all would have been working on a better tan or a new bikini line.
Let me ask U this:
I want 2 record a hit song.
What guitar should I use? Acoustic or electric?
Should I record keyboards?
Male or female lead singer?
____________ (fill in the next q)
Try all ways suggested and c what works 4 U.
Well try and help U with specific questions.
U may find ~ 8,000 relevant answers here:
All that being said, I would start with 1 good microphone, place it in the best place I could find, ask myself whats missing and add mics 2 complete the picture if needed.
Controlling a mic or 2 is hard enough, and leaves less room 4 errors.
I can answer ur last q though
EVERY recording is serious, and should b performed as such.
@ SUN records they were recording artists in a low budget room, using techniques that would have raised the (short) hair of any BBC engineer.
Yet British bands used 2 go crazy 4 that sound they could not achieve when working with the serious engineers wearing white coats and using serious techniques.