Originally Posted by bluesky636
It appears maybe I am confusing "reference level" with "calibration level."
that is exactly what I was trying to say.
"reference level" is specifically defined for movies; each channel can have content up to 105dB. That is the max value, called "Full Scale".
that is why the pink noise is referred to as "-30dBFS" to mean that it is offset precisely 30dB below the 105dB theoretical max. With a -30dbFS tone, you would calibrate to 75dB. If you had a test disc with -20dBFS tones, you would calibrate to 85dB.
either way, it doesn't change the definition of "reference level."
(and of course as mentioned above the LFE channel has an extra 10dB of room so it has up to 115dB max. however this doesn't affect your CALIBRATION because what you are calibrating is the subwoofer volume, not the LFE channel)