You’ve probably heard of Alesis if you’re familiar with the piano community, and also know what kind of keyboard they make. From a small manufacturer in the mid 80s, they now produce any kind of electronics, including now digital pianos. Among the electronics they produce we may find digital audio interfaces, drum machines, recording equipment, alongside other percussion and more general audio products.
Regardless of being widely surpassed by other giant elite companies, Alesis still wants to make space and carve a niche for their products, and the niche they have chosen seems to be the good entry level keyboards.
The Alesis Recital At A Glance – The Bottom Line
If you’re a beginner The Alesis Recital is a nice place to start, being this a keyboard an entry level one. This product will really win a place in your heart when you see the price and how affordable it is. Alesis puts this keyboard within the reach of anyone who’s interested in learning to play piano and starting on the music life without being rich and having hundreds of dollars to spend.
It comes with 88 keys all full sized but semi-weighted, this means that it lacks of the fully weighted keys feature. It is actually recommendable that beginners get used to fully weighted key, but for many people the semi weighted key will do the job.
The built in speakers are a bit customizable with layers and split functions, and you can dress up you sound up a bit with sound effects like the reverb.
If you wish, you can take your learning to another level with the learning mode subscribing to the Skoove Premium, and with the purchase of the Alesis Recital you get automatically 3 months of free subscription.
While you’re advancing in your learning, and so does your skille, you can try the several connectivity option the Alesis Recital comes with, like USB/MIDI, headphones jack and sustain pedal jack.
Features Of The Alesis Recital
The user of this keyboard will never feel pressure for tons of useless features you can encounter in more advanced digital pianos, and this a real problem mainly for the beginners. Alesis has made this product super user-friendly and there’s no hesitation about that. This brand provides you with the features you really need to get going in your learning.
You can leave it or stow it away anywhere in your home or bedroom because it’s really compact and light weighted, not much space is required.
This product comes with the power adaptor you need to turn it on, so to start playing all you need to do is to plug it in anywhere. But also, you can also power your keyboard with batteries if you need to be playing on the go. So you can travel with it, take it with you on road trips, and never be worried about a power source.
The Alesis Recital is made to avoid being intimidating to the beginners. It is really easy to get used to it and it just let the user to explore the playing rather than the piano itself.
The interface is very friendly, and the player won’t have any trouble navigating it and all the sound voices this keyboard comes with.
If you want to have half of your keyboard playing a particular voice while the other half is playing another, you can divide your keyboard into two parts with the split function.
However, you can only find the limited number 5 different voices in the Alesis Recital, but you can still play around with them with the split and layering functionalities and get a more versatile array of sounds.
Now, the sound samples Alesis uses in the piano are quite disappointing in regard to the quality. They’re definitely not of the best quality you can find.
They tend towards washing out sort of when you hear them, and when you move down the keyboard toward the bass ends it just gets worse. You’re going to pound the keys something fierce if you’re going to salvage this situation. Whatever the solution seems to be this is still not the way you are supposed to play a piano.
You may find a better building quality in the speakers. They provide a power sound of around 20Watts so it’s still not that powerful. You may have to rely on your headphones for a better audio experience, and thankfully this keyboard has a jack for it.
If you want you can use the RCA stereo option this piano comes with in the back of the panel and plug a high quality speaker to enjoy a better sound.
We found out that the this is more of a spring action than a semi weighted keyboard, even though Alesia still promotes it as a semi weighted action keyboard. What this means is that you will feel the keys more of a synthesizer than a real piano.
However you can still vary the sound you taking care of the velocity sensitiveness when you play, but still, is not even close to the feel of a real piano.
The Alesis Recital is the adecuate digital piano for beginners, specially for its price. Also, the lesson mode is pretty impressive and you will learn a lot if you pat attention to it.
Now we’re going to talk about the Alesis Recital, its good and not so good characteristics. If you are not new born in piano’s world, you should know about Alesis and the type of keyboard it produces.
Alesis was funded in the middle 80’s, and has produced so far a wide variety of electronics. Some of these items are keyboards.
Alesis also make many other kinds of musical appliances such as digital audio interfaces, recording kits, percussion and other audio devices.
Competing with huge and smashing brands in the market, Alesis made its own way to the masses. Nowadays Alesis is renowned for producing quality keyboards for starters.
We’re going to take a close look to one of them.
We give it 4 out of 5 points.
Alesis Recital is an ideal keyboard for starters. It’s a good first step for initial level players. Being so economical also makes this piano win a special place in our hearts. The reason is that they made the keyboard accessible for many starters who maybe don’t happen to have a lot of money to disburse on an electric piano.
Ok, let’s start talking about its features
It has 88 full-size keys. Anyway, the keys are semi-weighted, so they don’t have the weight of weighted keys. It’s always recommended for starters to practice with full-weighted keys for the start, but semi-weighted keys are not that bad either.
Alesis Recital 88
However, this model also includes layer and split options that let you regulate more or less the inbuilt voices. It has as well reverb and chorus effects to decorate your playing a little.
In any case, it incorporates a more rigorous learning system. You can actually go further with your musical education if you want to. Buying the Alesis Recital provides you of three months of free subscription to Skoove.
At last, the Alesis Recital offers many linkable features such as USB or MIDI, earphone output and pedal input. As you are getting a better pianist, you can connect your piano to your PC.
Not such a bad option for less than $500, uh?
Now, to complete the review
A very easy to use keyboard
The Alesis Recital is an artifact very easy to use. And there’s nothing wrong with that. One of the things people love in the Alesis products is that they never feel forced to come out with unnecessary functions. The company releases its products just with components that it thinks are significant and what people look for.
It is so practical and simple. It’s a compact machine that can fit any room at your house and even your bedroom. You don’t need a big space for it to stand nor store.
It comes with a power adaptor. So it can be plugged to any energy source without getting damaged. And if you need to carry it around, it can work on batteries as well. So, you can take it on a ride with your friends, and it will just keep sounding and entertaining everybody.
Digital piano for starters with 88 keys
In general, we like the Alesis design. It’s not too bold or brimming as to impress a beginner excessively. A starter looking at this keyboard for the first time will feel boosted instead of pushed to experience the piano lessons with Alesis Recital.
The keys feel actually good and the user panel is as easy to operate as expected. You will feel the lightness of the operability of the effects and functions on this model.
You can divide your keyboard into segments that play different voices at the same time, activating the Split feature. This feature allows you to reach a larger amount of voices you can play on your keyboard.
Since the variety of voices provided by this keyboard is rather short, we will have a conversation about that in the next segment.
Limited and limiting inbuilt voices
This model incorporates barely five different voices. As you can imagine, you will fall short with that. But looking at the bright side, it’s precisely the layer and split features that spice your composing a bit. Thanks to these features, you’re getting a wider range of sounds and effects from your keyboard.
But when it comes to sound samples, it’s simply disappointing to hear the low quality of the samples Alesis offers in its keyboards. The sounding is really bad and our ears are used to hear better.
The sound of the Alesis Recital tends to fade a bit. It’s more noticeable when you sway to the low notes. In order to fix this issue, you have to hit the keys a bit harder.
But even if you can resolve that issue, the thing is that you shouldn’t play that way. It’s a painful way to polish your skills. But what else can we do, if that’s what we have.
The speakers are quite good. However, it barely supports 20 watts. So you can’t look forward to hear a deep resonance from this machine. Luckily, it provides a headphone output where you can plug your earphones to hear what you’re playing.
We must be thankful that Alesis incorporated an RCA connector at the rear or the appliance. With this you can plug a good sounding amplifier to be able to hear a worthy sound.
This takes us to the next aspect. The audio quality of this model. We must admit we are surprised by the high-quality sound provided by this piano. Most of all, for a starter instrument, we should point out that Alesis improved itself.
It sounds nearly authentic.
Alesis Recital offers wide variety of connection options. It has a lot of plugins for either outputting earphones, power adapting and even linking your keyboard to a PC with a USB. The thing is that a keyboard for less than $500 that includes a USB jack is quite impressive.
What is this feature good for?
As you improve your playing performance, you might consider to take your musical education to the next level. The USB connection allows you to link to a good audio station. This way you lay your digital interface music into a track. And so you will write your compositions effortlessly.
Actually, the USB connection can also work when you step on a real stage.
This model settles that great content comes in compact sizes.
Light keys sensitive to speed
The Alesis Recital is a full-sized keyboard, which means it has 88 keys. The amount is good, but the performance is not so good.
The action if these keys is semi-weighted. But as we have noticed, they are more like spring-action keys. That means that these keys feel more like light weighted synthesizer keys.
However, they are sensitive to speed. That’s to say you will get different sounds according to how hard and fast you finger them. But we have to be honest to you. This doesn’t make it feel any close to the touch of an authentic piano.
- The sound of this model is very fresh and equilibrated. The low chords are at the left, the high chords at the right, and there’s a middle point at the center too.
- It’s sensitive to speed. Thanks to that you can modulate volume and tone by changing the intensity of your playing.
- The lesson system is rigorous and of course well meant. Any student will feel comfortable to take its lessons even if they have never played a keyboard.
- The organ voice is truly awesome. Surely one of the best organ voices you can find.
- Small, light, easy to move and can be powered on batteries, which makes mobility even easier.
- Speakers are quite good for a starter piano.
- It has all required features, but lacks more advanced options usually seen on higher products.
- Keys are quite sensitive. But their performance is rather low. They are more like spring action keys than semi-weighted as they’re supposed to be.
- When you turn the volume of the speakers to 60% its capacity, the sound begins to disform. High tones get distorted and low tones fade.
- This is although easy to fix by using earphones or an amplifier.
The Alesis Recital is great for starters. And what we liked the most was the lesson mode function. It is rigorous and well planned.
It’s true that Alesis has its noticeable limitations, but for its price you certainly won’t get a better keyboard with such good features.