This is really the pervading issue I've been having, and though I've tried to bypass the issue because the 880EX simply won't give me the input levels I need in order to get my noise floor where it needs to be.

So...I'm doing all sorts of other crap (noise-reduction plugins, etc.) to try and compensate for it.

But it just doesn't make sense. I've re-watched the video quick-start tutorial over and over, and she's getting a perfect gain using nothing but a dynamic mic (my exact situation).

In the tutorial, she's adjusting everything in Play mode, only going into Input mode when inserting an effect for printing purposes (compression, etc.) I've been doing all that in Edit (Input) mode, and then coming back into Play mode and lowering the volume slider for the track, so that I can hear more of the actual acoustic sound in the room with the metronome.

Is that what's screwing me up? I thought so long as the slider level was 100% in Input mode, I could listen while recording in Play mode with the slider back down.
Acoustic Musician

"It's like the sweet air of Springtime - the wind will carry your load."

- Tony Capri (Gently Warms)