Many sound recordings for film and television
are over-emphatically stated, over-hyped, and exaggerated compared
to sound in real life.
One reason for this is that there is typically so much competing sound at any given moment that each sound that must be heard has to be rather over-emphatically stated, just to read through the clutter. Heard in isolation, the recordings seem silly, over-hyped, but heard in context, the assume a more natural balance.
The elements that often best illustrate this effects recorded while watching a picture such as footsteps, and are often exaggerated from how they would be in reality, both in loudness and in intimacy.
While some of this exaggeration is due to the experience of practitioners finding that average sound playback systems obscure details, a good deal if the exaggerations still is desirable under the best playback conditions, simply because of the competition for other kinds of sound.
Source: Tom Holminson, Sound for Film and TV page xvi
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