Everything I record is louder, even after turning the recording level to 0.0

Windows 10 Audacity 2.3.2

Yesterday I was working on a recording. I was moving a click track around and deleting some material and saved as a new project. Then other things happened and I walked away from the computer for several hours, windows went to sleep. When I got back to work the recording level was at 1.00, I had been running 0.40, but now the slider doesn’t seem to actually have an effect. No matter what project I record in the levels are louder. If i turn the gain on the track down the waveform does not get smaller, but the playback will be quieter. I’ve gone through as much of windows as i could, and anywhere there is a recording level setting, it matches what i have in audacity. I updated audacity, made sure i was running the latest driver on the focusrite scarlett 2i4 i have as an interface. none of the settings on my gear changed. my guitar is the same volume as i’m playing it, nothing’s been turned up on the interface. i’m at a total loss.

I don’t know what’s changed but with a USB device it’s not unusual for the digital recording level to be fixed. The analog-to-digital converter is built into the USB interface and there is an analog level control to adjust the analog signal going into the ADC. There’s no “need” to adjust the digital levels during recording. But you can adjust the levels after recording.