Peak Levels seem limited

Audacity shows my peaks as -6.02db no matter how much I crank the gain on my interface. Yet the interface LED meter shows that it is clipping. How do I fix this please?

AKG C214 (4" away from mouth)
DBX 286S

I have tried different TRS to TRS cables, TRS to XLR and no matter how much output gain from the DBX I apply or Gain on the SSL2 interface the audio playback clips yet Audacity shows the Peaks as -6.02db and the SSL meter lights up RED which indicates over 0db (clipping)

Gain Set up correctly

Cranked up gain

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ok I fixed it thanks to help of OBS Discord. They pointed me to this thread:

I changed recording channel to Stereo and I can see the clipping using the View>Show Clipping ON/OFF and I can also use the ACX check which now reads 0db Fail as expected.

I have no idea why I had to change from Mono to Stereo, but as long as it works.
Thank you

I have no idea why I had to change from Mono to Stereo, but as long as it works.

Your situation is a little unusual. You have a mono interface which is usually OK in mono…

…When you use a stereo interface but record in mono the signals are cut in half (-6dB) so when both channels are combined they don’t exceed 0dB. If you are using both inputs mixed to mono everything is OK. But a lot of people use a stereo interface with only one mic or one guitar, etc. That’s a mono source but when you record in mono (with the stereo interface) the signal gets cut in half.

When you get clipping, it’s the analog-to-digital converter in the interface that clips. So, you can always trust the meters or clipping indicators built-into the interface. (Then you might have to adjust the levels or convert stereo-to mono, etc., after recording.) As you may know, a true-mono file plays through both speakers.


A further update to this.

I use OBS to record and livestream and use ASIO drivers. Today it was suggested to use another ASIO driver and now I can record to mono to Audacity without having to change recording channel to Stereo.

Hopefully this helps others with the same issue who use OBS and ASIO as I inadvertedly found that recording videos and importing them to Audacity to post had the same -6db peak limit. As well as streaming the volume was lower than expected.

This is the ASIO driver I used for OBS.
You select Mono format in the ASIO microphone properties.