buzz and hum in recording

Hey, I’m new here, so hang on.
Have Audacity 2.0.5, Windows 7 home version, and am trying to use a audio-technica ATR3350 lapel mic for input, and finally my 'puter is Aspire 5336-2524
Problem: Although sound is pretty good, I can’t seem to eliminate the buzz in background. I want to record voice for youtube. Oh, and I’m creating video through acer webcam.
Do I need to get a USB adapter for my mic (it has 1/8" bayonet)?
Any other suggestions to get rid of buzz and hum?

Noise IS an analog problem… It could be the microphone, or the analog-side of the soundcard.

Does the noise change when you move the microphone & cable around, or when you put it near your body? (That would prove that the mic itself is picking-up the noise.)

It’s best to prevent the noise, but you may be able to remove or reduce it in Audacity in “post production” (after recording).

Hum & buzz is usually AC line noise. First, if your laptop is connected to the charger, try running it off the battery.

You can try the Noise Removal filter (“effect”), where you feed-in a noise profile (or “noise fingerprint”) of noise-only, and it tries to remove it without damaging the other audio.

Or with AC hum, a 50Hz or 60Hz (depending on the power line frequency where you live) notch filter will knock-down the hum. And since you said “buzz”, that probably means you have harmonics at 100Hz/120Hz, 200/240Hz, etc., that also need to be notched-out. (If it works, one or more notch filters will likely to less damage to the good audio, than the general purpose noise removal filter.)

Back to prevention - You can try an external USB soundcard. That should isolate you from any electrical noise coming from inside the computer.

But, the best solution would be a “studio style”, USB microphone. (A USB mic essentially has a soundcard built-in.) These are sometimes sold as “podcast mics” and they go for around $100 - $200 USD. The [u]AT2020 USB[/u] is a popular choice. That might seem like lots of money, but with a good quiet studio-like environment, you can get darn-near pro studio quality, and that’s quite a bargain. The downside to a USB mic is that you can (usually) use only one mic at a time, so you can’t record stereo (unless you get a stereo USB mic) and you can’t multi-track. And, you can’t use it live with a PA system.

Computer “gaming” or “communications” mics tend to be low-quality. Good “performance” or “studio” mics are low-impedance balanced with XLR connectors, and they are simplly the wrong interface for a consumer soundcard. You can get an audio interface with an XLR mic input (and phantom power for studio condenser mics), but the interface alone (without the analog mic) will cost as much as a good “studio” USB mic.

wow! DVDdoug, I didn’t expect so much good info, so soon. A big mahalo for that. Well, I’m going to try some of your suggestions.
I tried the noise reduction instructions that Audacity furnishes, but was stumped by the selection of settings in Step 2. Actually got the tutorial from audio-technica, but info was for an earlier version of Audacity (showed just one slider).
I have a Sampson studio condenser mic, co1u. But, that won’t work too well for videos … unless I’m missing something about setting it up. I bought it for recording cds … which I haven’t gotten around to doing yet.
Anyway, to the point, thanks again for all the info. It’s a great help.
I’ll let you know how it all comes out.