Cubase Elements 9 not recording audio properly

Hi all

please help if poss (Cubase elements 9 on windows 10 via school network)

Trying to record audio through internal laptop realtek mic and also with a mic connected to a USB audio interface -

I’m getting a healthy monitoring signal on the meter before and during recording VISUALLY, but this is not replicated/reflected in the actual incredibly low volume of audio that is recorded (looking at the waveform confirms this and is basically inaudible and invisible util normalised). Input gain is up full and as stated the input meter shows a high and healthy level…

If poss please advise as once again flummoxed!

I still haven’t fathomed this, very grateful for any help.

To summarise -

the level of audio being recorded is incredibly low despite the input meter showing a healthy signal when monitoring…

Normalisation works (but as I understand will also amplify unwanted noise) but I’ve never had this problem on any other version or set-up of Cubase in 30 years…