As for like DAWs and stuff I use ProTools to record/mix & ableton live to produce. If you are using an MPC, then I recommend pro tools cuz the audio engine is unbeatable in my opinion, but I have seen some motherfuckers record some awesome stuff in GarageBand. Yet again, it's all personal preference & that comfortability to maneuver your way around each DAW quickly & efficiently is the main aspect of anything. Try some different stuff out & if your happy with sound your getting than stick to it cuz when you get someone in the lab & they say they want 4 vocal tracks (1 main, 1 double, 2 ad lib tracks panned slightly left & right for a distant fullness for the vocals), you gotta go in & get things done quickly & efficiently cuz you make yourself look better in the long run. Basic templates are good for stuff like this cuz you can set up different set ups for different scenarios so when you go into whatever program you may use you don't have to fumble around trying to get everything set, it's just one click away.*
Another thing I forgot to mention before is that when you already have your vocals recorded & are ready to mix take your doubles track and go through piece by piece & line the waveforms up with the main vocals. This helps keep a tight, strong vocal presence in your mix.