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Peek Inside the Home Studio of Danny Elfman

A real estate listing for composer/musician/producer Danny Elfman's mansion provides an opportunity to peek inside his home studio.

Living Room
Composer Danny Elfman and actress Bridget Fonda, his wife, put their mansion on the market in the fall of 2020. Dig that monkey skeleton on the table. Simon Berlyn / Williams and Williams

When composer/musician/producer Danny Elfman and actress Bridget Fonda, his wife, put their home on the market in the fall of 2020, the real estate listing for the mansion, located in the tony Fremont Place neighborhood of Los Angeles, was greeted with interest by those who love classic architecture, strident vintage interior decorating, and, in the case of audio pros, well-appointed home studios.

Elfman’s music career kicked off with the fondly remembered New Wave/Jump Swing band Oingo Boingo, but today he’s best-known for his work as a film composer, with a Grammy, two Emmys and four Oscar nominations to his credit. Films like Spider-Man, Good Will Hunting and The Girl on the Train have all featured his music, as have decades of Tim Burton movies, such as Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Composer / musician / producer Danny Elfman's home studio
Elfman’s home studio, complete with gymnastics rings. Simon Berlyn / Williams and Williams
The mansion includes a two-story ballroom that doubles as a massive home theater – a feature which may have proven helpful for test-driving film scores.
The mansion includes a ballroom that doubles as a massive home theater. Simon Berlyn / Williams and Williams

A spin through YouTube reveals numerous interviews done in the home studio over the years, with the recording gear in the background changing over time, but in the final iteration of the recording space, shown in the real estate listing, there’s plenty of things to see, not least of which are the gymnastic rings and lush red drapes that serve to dampen reflections (and presumably cover some acoustical absorption panels).

Nonetheless, for audio pros, the focus is the desk. At the far end beneath the dual computer monitors sits an Avid Artist Mix control surface, adjoined by what appears to be a Novation Launch Control portable controller. Further to their right is a PreSonus Central Station Monitor Control Remote on the desk, used to look after the ADAM Audio S4A MK1 active studio monitors. Behind it all on the floor sits an APC BE350R surge protector.

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Elfman and Fonda purchased the 8,346-square-foot mansion in 2000 for $2.125 million. The six-bedroom edifice, built in 1920, also includes a two-story ballroom that doubles as a massive home theater – a feature which may have proven helpful for test-driving film scores.

Elfman isn’t the only former member of Oingo Boingo to wind up with his own recording space; keyboardist Richard Gibbs went on to found the gorgeous destination studio Woodshed Recording in Malibu, CA, which we profiled in 2016. That facility miraculously avoided being burnt to the ground by the 2018 Woolsey Fire, despite the house on the property, like others in the area, going up in flames. Over the years, Woodshed has hosted the likes of U2, Coldplay, Chance the Rapper, Barbra Streisand, Sting, The Chainsmokers, Kanye West, Lorde, Neil Young and other notable artists.

UPDATE: Elfman and Fonda sold their mansion in late 2020 for $8.75 million, reportedly to TV showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

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