Originally Posted by fasma
The 68SPL mentioned above makes more sense. If that is so then I don't understand the usefulness of the K-system in mysic which if I remember correctly also uses 79db SPL.
The K-system is an "ideal" or should i say "idealistic" system to properly monitor and use your ears to judge loudness. The K-system is meant to preserve dynamics, headroom, etc... and end the loudness wars, the only problem with it is that VERY FEW PEOPLE USE IT! so the loudness war keeps getting stronger every day, thus everything is so squashed, thus listening to music in a 79dB calibrated system sounds incredibly loud.
So bottom line, if you use the K-system to calibrate your monitoring to listen to music, the only stuff that will be played at a comfortable level is stuff actually mastered while using the K-system, or music with lots of dynamics (like jazz, classical music, and "old" music).
The movies are the format which suffers less by over compression, but still every day its getting a bigger share of limiting and squashing in order to compete with the usual block busters which are becoming louder and louder (specially trailers), or they are just being mixed louder (ive measured movies which go well above 110dB SPL during considerable periods of time in some THX certified studios, probably thats why theaters are lowering their level, which in turn makes the film makers ask for more volume to compensate for the loss, which makes the theaters lower the volume more, etc.. you get the picture)
I cant understand how people at the theaters can handle listening at those movies if the theather's sound is "at 7" (movie sound guys inside joke), or even worse, how can movie mixers mix those action sequences in loop play for hours and hours, days and days! (been there, done that for a couple of movies, and that was it for me), yet thats nothing compared to the way music is treated, lets just hope movies dont get there.
My advice: keep it lower than the K-system, which in my opinion is "ahead of its time" (or sadly, outdated), perhaps in a not so distant future, record executives, radio stations, musicians and average listeners will realize the damage they are doing to their recordings and adopt the K-system or a similar system (EBU R-128 anyone?), until then, protect your ears and calibrate your system at 68dB or lower if you are monitoring mastered material.