Vocal audio signal input SO low. What can I do?

The problem to which I would like an answer is that when I record vocals, the signal is always so low. I know there are various techniques and plug-ins I can use to boost recorded audio, but I’m a firm believer in getting it right asap, i.e. making sure the raw material is optimum before it is manipulated.

I use Cubase 10.5 and one of two mics, a Marantz condenser mic and a Shure dynamic mic. The audio interface is an Audient ID4 which supplies phantom power. If I turn the input up too much, it distorts, so I try to get it just right.

Anyone with any tips and hints I might be able to utilise?

Raising the level after the audio is recorded, will also raise the noise floor.
What level are you seeing on the recorded vocal track, no plugins fader set at 0dB ?
I personally aim for a level around -12dB to -6dB .
Maybe you just need to turn down everything else than the vocals.
Anyway, using compression on the vocals to limit the peaks makes it possible to raise the volume without distorting.

Beside input Volume did you use gain ?

You can use the normalize feature in Cubase to raise the levels. I often use the normalize feature in Wavelab. I go through Cubase>Audio> Edit in Wavelab, and it opens the file in Wavelab and I then select the entire file and use the Process>Loudness feature and it normalizes to any setting like -12, -14, etc. I find Wavelab normalization more transparent than Cubase/Nuendo. Your audio levels would come up, without distortion if you follow this process.

Alternatively, there’s no reason why you should not capture the levels you want at recording. Your input settings would be the issue. Your input volume knobs here should be set high enough to capture good vocals. While recording, you should keep an eye on your waveform…if those are too low, then there’s not even a point in recording at all until you fix the problem.