Cannot set recording level

The recording level slider is set to maximum and I can’t adjust it to lower setting. Audacity 3.1.3
I run on Mac OS Monterey 12.2.1

If you’re using a USB device this is probably normal. (I’m a Windows guy and that’s how it is on Windows.)

If you need to lower the volume to prevent clipping, you have to lower the analog level because it’s (usually) the analog-to-digital converter that gets clipped. Lowering the level after it’s digitized doesn’t remove the distortion.