Weak mic signal

I am creating maths tutorial videos using Audacity for recording my speech. What concerns me is the relatively weak signal that I am getting from my mic.

My mic is the Samson Q2U. Speaking directly into the mic from about 8" (20cm), in a fairly strong voice, the mic monitor in Audacity is peaking at around -12dB.

I have the Audacity recording volume set on full at 1.0. And in the Windows 10 settings I have the master volume set to 100%.

The mic is plugged directly into the laptop via USB.

If I switch to the mic inbuilt in the laptop, the signal is far stronger; I have to drop the Audacity recording volume to 0.75 to stop it clipping.

Is the weak signal from the Samson Q2U to be expected or am I doing something wrong?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
(Audacity 3.1.3)

There could be another mic-level slider in Windows, Recording, (USB)Microphone Properties, Levels …
more mic level sliders in Windows.png
Apparently the “Q” may as well stand for quiet …

That’s common with USB mics especially when the mic doesn’t have a gain/level control, so it’s probably normal… Some “podcast mics” have a built-in analog recording-level control, as do “professional” audio interfaces.

The LAST thing you want is to overload and [u]clip[/u] the analog-to-digital converter built into the microphone, so they keep the gain down to accommodate louder sounds. Turning down the volume in the computer after the signal is digitized won’t fix clipping… The analog signal has to be adjusted before it’s digitized.

The lower level doesn’t hurt quality and you can boost after recording (with the Amplify effect).

Thank you Trebor and DVDdoug. I am very grateful to you both for your answers.
I can see no further mic level controls in Windows 10, so I am reassured by your answers that I just need to work with the lower signal levels and adjust in Audacity after recording.