guitar sounds different when recorded then monitored

Cubase guitar part sounds different when recorded then monitored. Im using Cubase LE 7 with M-audio M-Track MK2. When i play with VST loaded and the track is armed and monitored, it sounds nice and organic. When the same signal is recorded and played back, the guitar parts get a bit amplified and compressed.
I even tried with no VST running…Just dry signal, and even that was different and compressed. What im i missing here?
The signal should be the same as its already been converted by the M-track before recording.

Are you recording too hot? Might be a built-in limiter on your interface.

If you are using any of the preconfigured templates, you might find that effects have been automatically enabled in your channel strip.