Low Gain with XLR Mic - CI2+

I have just setup my system with the CI2+ using Cubase Essentials and the first thing I wanted to do was record some improvisations with a new XLR mic. I cannot get any gain into the system. I have tried maxxing the gain on the CI2+ and also sliding the instrument track up all the way in Cubase, which does nothing but raise the noise floor horribly. I’m trying to record, literally, my first ever tracks with a DAW and it’s not going well. Anybody see something wrong with this setup:

Audio-Technica ATR1500 XLR mic direct to the CI2+ with phantom power on
Gain - tried maxxing it
Levels in Cubase are much quieter than virtual instrument tracks I have recorded already, when maxxing out the instrument pot it is almost pure noise.

With the same mic I have tried some vocals as “test test” and some singing; same problem. The instrument we are trying to record is clarinet, which I assure you is plenty loud as most people would not want to be this close to a wailing clarinet improvisation.

Any ideas? It’s got to be a software issue I’m sure…