Question

Looking for a good shotgun mic to capture 360 degree audio

From what I can find, most shotgun mics are omni-directional. I want want that will obviously capture what I am shooting, but also allow me to provide commentary from behind. It would be great if there were some setting to raise or lower the sensitivity of certain directions, like to make it omni-directional if I'd like, but I doubt that would be the case.

Or, if this thing does not really exist, how can I make my audio pick up better from behind the camera without a lavalier mic?

Thanks for any help!

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Answer
I'd go with what you have. Why?

Because you are so close to the mic, it should pick you up anyway.

HOWEVER my friends that produce nice videos add the commentary in post production. I think trying this while filming is something you try at first then graduate to post production commentary.

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That sometimes works, but it's inconsistent.

If I position the camcorder properly, the audio is picked up ok, but if I raise the camcorder to look at what I'm shooting, especially when I'm walking to make sure my subject is kept in frame, I feel like my voice is getting blocked more by the camcorder and becoming muffled.

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The other method.

A voice recorder then use that in post or as source for your voice over.

My son does this work as he majored in film school. I might be offering too advanced advice for beginners here.

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I tried that once.

I tried a zoom with a lav mic, and it has come out ok for the most part, although just because of the movement sometimes the audio is a bid "shufflely." And since a lot of what I shoot turns out to be spur-of-the-moment, I don't have time to have some sort of audio "clapper" to sync up with. I'm not sure if there's a better way than one I tried.

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The lav shuffle sound.

Usually when the mounting is not thought about. It takes planning.

Anyhow, this is rarely solved by changing the mic. You can try stereo inputs and run a mic to front and rear. The problem I hear is the videographer yelps about price and how you have to sometimes tape it together. Some old schoolers prefer ugly tape.

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PS. Does your camcorder have more to offer?
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Answer
Microphones

IIRC, a "shotgun" mike is also called a "linear" mike as it is designed to have a rather narrow focus on a sound source, avoiding extraneous sounds. A linear also extends the range at which it can pick up sounds.
What you want is an omnidirectional mike, sometimes referred to as an "8-ball" mike due to the round nature of end of the mike. Most TV shows where you see the MC interviewing people with a hand-held mike is using an 8-ball as it also picks up background sounds from the audience. They are more limited in the range that they can pick up sounds from with only noise-cancelling mikes being for extreme short range.
If you need to pick up sound from a large area, say, 15' x 15' or more, try setting up two mikes on tripods at shoulder level and use stereo cords and a dual jack recorder for stereo sound. If you don't need stereo, plug the two mike cords into a "Y" adapter before going into the recorder.

Good luck!

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Linear is not another name for a shotgun microphone.

Linear is not another name for a shotgun microphone.

Frequency linearity is the ability of a microphone to yield an electrical output that is proportional to the amplitude of the sound input over the entire frequency range, a microphone with good linearity can have any of omni-directional, cardioid, bi-directional, or uni-directional pickup patterns.

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The 8-ball mic by Blue is cardioid, not omni-directional

As far as the 8-ball mike, don't let the round shape fool you, shape has nothing to do with it, many omni-directional mikes don't have a round shape, and not only are omni-directional mikes NOT "often called 8-ball", the 8-ball mic is a specific mic under the Blue label, and it is a cardioid condenser microphone, not an omni-directional mic.

Cardioid is often described as heart shaped, though that's quite a stretch, but it definitely not omni-directional. Basically it records whatever is in front of it, and tapers off quickly behind it.

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Answer
You don't want an omnidirectional (360° pickup) microphone.

I think you are confused by the jargon and names of the various types of microphones. No shotgun microphone will record audio from all directions, as you say 360° audio. They are specifically designed to pick up sound from one direction only and reject sound from all other directions, and generally, the longer the microphone, the narrower the pickup pattern.

What you may want to get, and I don't recommend this option, is a bi-directional microphone, one that rejects sounds from the side, but picks up sound from the front and the back.

When you mention the sound sounding muffled when you are behind the camera, this is due to the sound from the back of the microphone being rejected, not caused by the camera blocking the sound. You can test this by having a friend talk to you while holding the camera and raising it to shooting position while talking. You will keep hearing the voice just as clear when the camera is between you and the person's mouth as when it is not in the way.

One of the two options that I recommend would be a separate microphone for you going to either the left or right channel of the stereo audio tracks, and the shotgun microphone into the other channel. You do want a shotgun microphone, especially in a noisy environment, to diminish sounds not related to what you are shooting.

The other option I would recommend is one someone else also recommended, and the separate microphone going to another recording device, and later either marrying back to the video in a video editing app, or that separate recording be your script, and re-record your audio in a quiet environment for the clearest audio result.

I would strongly discourage anyone opting for an omni-directional microphone, one that records in all directions, because all those other sounds will likely drown our the sound you are trying to record. There are times you may want an omni-directional microphone, but that should not be a first choice in most cases.

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Answer
Try a mixer

First shotgun mics are designed to pick up sound directly in front of them - hence the word shotgun. They are definitely mono directional.
Second a lavalier or tie-clip mic will pick up close sound i.e. a commentary, from behind the camera.
There are a number of simple camcorder mixers which fit to your camera and will combine audio from two or more sources. With a mixer, you will have complete control over the shotgun sound and a tie-clip mic.
BUT I suggest that, for a commentary, you do it in post production using the voice over option in your video editor. (you do have one I hope) You will have far better control over the situation and can even script it if you want.

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