recording level too high or low, There's no gradation.

You’ve got me beat. I can’t reproduce the problem, I’ve not heard of anyone else having this problem, and I’m not aware of any changes between Audacity 2.2.2 and 2.3.2 that can account for the problem. The best suggestion that comes to mind is to go back to Audacity 2.2.2 until Audacity 2.3.3 is released, then try 2.3.3 to see if that works better on your system.

Well, now that’s interesting.

Go here. http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-7-service-pack-1-service-configurations/

If you follow the instructions, it’s going to take you through a new install type experience of changing service configurations on your computer. It’s going to list services that are default only (though, your PC may or may not have all of them). This is for windows 7, which is what I’m assuming your PC is on, but you can search the site up top for a different windows version if needed.

Go through your -entire- list of services. You can change the settings to the ones listed and probably improve the performance of your PC a little even. But basically, anything you have that is not on that list is something you should suspect might mess with your audio in some way. Look for anything that might have to do with audio. Try disabling, testing, renenabling. This is probably a very tedious task, but it might pin point what is causing the audio to get crazy.