I think gentle anticipatory fader moves would be better than gating and compressing to help smooth out the vocalist. And if it sounds better with that mic polarity-reversed, so be it!
The XY pair will always be mono-compatible, and the 'outriggers' are so wide and will be picking up a sufficiently different (non-coherent) sound that again, mono compatibility shouldn't be a problem. Always worth checking though!
Glad it all went well. Please post an example when it's ready.
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Recording an Orchestra - Cold
All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.