what tweaks and effects are normal and expected that I can plan on using? The one thing that bothers me out my setup is it feels too clean, too direct
Probably the two most common “effects” are compression & equalization. Some reverb is common too.
Dynamic compression brings-up the volume without clipping/distorting the peaks, and it gives you a more-constant volume, and you can add some 'bite" to the sound. Compression on the vocals might be all you need to need to take care of that “too clean” sound! (I’m not clear if you have a separate vocal track, or if everything’s mixed.) Basically, compression works by ''pushing down" the peaks, and then you use make-up gain to bring-up the overall volume. Compression is usually used (to some extent) on all of the individual tracks, and again on the final stereo-mix during mastering. Compression, as part of the mastering process often makes the difference between an amateur-sounding or professional-sounding recording.
But, it can be over-done, and IMO it’s overdone on most modern recordings… music is supposed to have loud & quiet parts, and when it’s constantly loud (or 'intense"), it gets boring! Over-compression on modern recordings & re-masters is one reason some people (not me) prefer their old vinyl records. Some classical & jazz recordings are made with no compression.
There are settings to play with, and there are many different compressor plug-ins. It’s going to take some experimenting to get a good sound… It’s pretty common to use a hardware compressor on vocals too.
EQ is mostly used to correct the frequency balance or tone. With perfect mics and perfect instruments in a perfect room, you might not need it. But again, with pro recordings some EQ is going to be used on most individual tracks, and possibly again during mastering. Compression can affect the frequency balance to some extent, so sometimes you need to re-EQ after compressing. Also, pros often filter-out the bass (below ~80Hz) from everything except the bass & kick drum.
When you’re all done, it’s a good idea to normalize you peaks (at or near 0dBFS). You don’t want your peaks “trying” to go over 0dB, or you can get clipping (flat-topped distorted waves). And, you don’t want your levels too low either. Some people like to keep the peaks just-below 0db and some mastering engineers like a little (or a lot!) of clipping… We should probably leave that controversy for another day. (I go right-up to exactly 0dB.)
For the first round, we recorded the drummer with 6 mics going into one mixer, and that was sent as a stereo mix into a mixer. The guitars were recorded at the same time with a different mixer and laptop. We had to do it that way, because none if the guys felt comfortable laying down their parts without the others there.
I think bands usually play better when they play together. But if you are going to do this again, it wouldn’t hurt to get a multi-channel recording interface so you can multi-track and mix in post-production.
You might also consider getting a subscription to [u]Recording Magazine[/u]. I’ve got a subscription, and I’ve learned a lot!