Spontaneous Reduction in Recording Level

I am using Audacity 3.0.2 and macOS Big Sur Version 11.5.2

While resuming a recording session, the sound level input suddenly reduced to a much lower amplitude/value. In discussing this with other narrator/producers, it was suggested that I examine the Zoom/Skype apps to see whether the ‘automatically adjust level’ boxes were checked. I eliminated this as a possibility, and I have more than sufficient memory on my MacBook Pro. I am using an AT2020USB+ microphone ( and have not had previous problems until this week. I’d appreciate suggestions to solve this-

Does your recording device have settings for “noise reduction”, “echo reduction”, “automatic level”, or anything similar? If so, turn those effects off.