Recording levels

Hello Danny, thanks for the invitation to the forum. Right to the business then. What is the right way to record vocals? For most of the time I was trying to keep the vocals as close to zero as possible with rare peaking, sending the hottest possible signal to the DAW. Only recently I found out that -18dB in digital = 0 dB in Analog world. Does it mean that the signal going into the DAW should be -18dB? Also what about trim setting on the mic input gain? Audio recieved from the mic goes into moto audio interface and I have a virtual mixer of moto sound card that lets me setup trip and fader gain. Would it be right if i set fader to - 12dB and let the signal hover around -18dB? What is your take on subject.

Back in the days of 16-Bit you wanted to record at the highest possible level before clipping as the noise floor could be quite noticeable. However, with modern 24-Bit converters this is not really much of a concern anymore. I never really record these days but I would probably have the loudest peaks around -6dB or so, no advantage to any louder, just the risk of clipping.