Record using Mic In on laptop

I am trying to use the Mic/Line in input on an HP6510b laptop (XP) with an external microphone, an MXL V63MBP (which works like a champ plugged into my desktop).

Trying to use the mic on the laptop for field recording however, the sound is terribly distorted.

I’ve disabled the microphone boost in Windows Recording Control (which is the only input setting I can find to change), to no avail.

Has anyone had any luck plugging directly into a laptop mic input? Should I switch to a USB connection?

Thanks.

<<<Should I switch to a USB connection?>>>

Not until we fix this. People have trouble with USB services.

There has to be a level control somewhere. The Mic-In connection is useless without that. What happens if you reduce the volume at the input control in Audacity? Slider control in the middle of the control banner. Sometimes you need to “exercise” it a couple of time for it to “catch.”

You can click once inside the red recording meters and they will wake up and show you what the levels are without going into full record mode. They’re way too high, now, right? Smashing zero?

Better yet, can you get rid of the distortion by speaking softly? I’m not being funny, If you can speak really softly and much of the distortion goes away, then it’s a simple level problem and we can fix that. If it never goes away, then something is seriously broken.

This is the microphone with the internal battery, right?

Koz