The best way of Recording audio is with a Channel Strips. They are bascially separate dedicated microphone channels with all the features you need to correctly record your audio signal.
Channel strips are specifically design to give a clean signal flow. A good cheap unit is the Focusrite Green voicebox although it is not made any more, you can pick it up on Ebay for £300, they used to cost around £700.
Channel strips are great for vocals and for individual instruments and for outside recordings.
Obviously if you were going to record a set of drums or a live band it might start become impractical to have dedicated external channels, but it is one of the best ways of capturing that pure sound that, lets face, is what we are all after.
Most studios will record through dedicated audio channel strips and then monitor back through the desk. It’s only when you have a top of the line mixing desk (£100,000) that you can afford to let your signal path travel through your mixing desk.