I thought I remembered reading somewhere that when setting up a home theater system, you were supposed to play a track at -12db and bring the volume up to about 80db. That was supposed to help with the whole "movie theater experience" as it would allow you to also hear the quiet stuff well and the loud stuff would sound loud. Problem is, I read this article a while ago and haven't been able to find it since and would like to know what the numbers really are. I really have no idea if it was -12 and 80, that's just what I think I remember. Does anyone who knows any better have some concrete numbers?

  • Home theater questions are off-topic here so I unfortunately must close the question. Our chatrooms, however, are considerably more casual than the site itself, so you might have some luck there.
    – Warrior Bob
    Sep 9, 2012 at 21:59
  • Sorry about that. I figured since it had to do with calibration and setting it up to professional standards ie what is used when producing, it would have been on topic.
    – Sean
    Sep 10, 2012 at 7:18
  • Also, I had searched for days before posting here, but a few hours later I found a forum where someone had already answered the question. So to anyone wondering, you should calibrate a -20db track to 85db or a -30db track to 75db. Either way it's supposed to add up to 105db.
    – Sean
    Sep 10, 2012 at 7:20
  • It's no big deal, and I can certainly understand your reasoning. The change in context can change the answers though - "professional standards" for a theater system don't necessarily translate to a production situation. I would never run my home-studio monitor speakers anywhere near 105dB. Mixing at that level for a few hours would probably damage my hearing.
    – Warrior Bob
    Sep 10, 2012 at 14:54


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