Back when tape machines were the main way to record audio, it was important to get as loud of a volume to tape so that the signal to noise ratio would be as high as possible. There was a little thing called "hiss" that wasn't the most pleasant thing to hear in a song. When it comes to digital recording, it's now possible to raise the volume gain within software without adding noise to the track. This being said, the last thing we need to try to do when recording is have the volume level right up to the edge of distortion. With tape, a little distortion sort of sounded cool (ie, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"). But digital distortion doesn't really have much artistic value.
Just make sure you're not maxing out the input level and causing distortion on the track. If you have an undistorted recording that's pretty well in time and in pitch, you can always have someone else help mix it later on.
Keep writing (and recording),
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