People always talk about having a "big" recorded sound. But we should consider that a big sound starts in the arrangement.
The arrangement is the road map, where all the structures and textures, for each and every moment of the music, are defined. The map for tension, suspension and relaxation. There are a few basic structures: unisson (including the octave), bloc, polyphony and sound textures (the rhythm instrumentes would be in this category). Each of these structures can be the melody, the countermelody, the harmonic accompaniment (with different structural possibilities), or polyphonic structures and textures.
One can increase or diminish the density for each of these elements, or combine them in order to create complex textures. A succesful recording or mix depends on the understanding of this road map. Effective mic choice and positioning should consider the musical structures. Microphone placemente when recording an orchestra may vary, depending on the presence of divisi in the arrangemente, for instance.
The role of the sound engineer in the recording and mixing of an album make of him the equivalent of the director of photography in a movie. With this approach, even choosing the mics, preamps and compressors becomes a musical decision. The mic used to record an orchestra playing Beethoven can be different from the mic used to record the same orchestra playing Mozart, just to mention two classics.
I have an extensive experience as recording and mix engineer, having recorded, edited and/or mixed projects with artists such as Chico Buarque, Francis Hime, Luiz Melodia, Olivia Hime, Wagner Tiso, Mauro Senise, Jards Macalé, Tom Jobim, Ná Ozzetti, Chico Pinheiro, Bibi Ferreira, among many others. Six albums nominated for the Latin Grammy in the "Best Classical Album", "Best Samba Album", "Best Album in a Foreign Language", "Best Brazilian Song" and "Best MPB Album" categories; one track in an album nominated for the "Best Jazz Album" category in the USA; six TIM awards and six Rival BR awards (Brazil).