Alesis Recital Review 2021: Is This The Best 88-Keyboard?
The course itself is interesting, diversified, and educational, promising and delivering the results in only 30 days. For the number of lessons provided, the price is very affordable. The lessons covered in this online singing course is suitable for beginners with bonuses that can help even intermediate and advanced learners despite it being marketed solely towards beginners.
While the courses are detailed and very easy to understand for beginners, some of the content of this online singing course is more appropriate for advanced learners than novices.
Value For Money
Despite the fact that this course contains an extensive list of comprehensive lessons, it is, unfortunately, a subscription-based online class.
Instead of the usual downloadable video and audio exercises, most online singing courses promote, this course is only available online. No internet, no access.
Being relatively new, there is not a lot of feedback from students. They do have a forum but have more questions rather than testimonials. The few testimonials on their website, however, are positive.
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Alesis has been making quite a name for itself, manufacturing great instruments for a very low price. This makes the products ideal for many new musicians who are not ready to invest in more expensive instruments.
The Alesis Recital, in particular, is well-known in the piano community because of its impressive features and affordable price.
This article will take an in-depth dive into these features and figure out what truly makes the Alesis Recital unique. Judging by its many qualities and features, we will also figure out if this keyboard is the best one out there.
The Alesis Recital is a full-sized keyboard with 88 keys. The keytops are made from simulated ivory and ebony. The white keys are glossy and the black keys have more of a matte finish, which is preferred by most pianists because it provides them with a non-slip surface.
The console on this keyboard is positioned dead center. What I have noticed about it is that it does not have too many keys. The function keys that do exist are also fairly minimalistic.
For me, it gives the Alesis Recital a non-cluttered and neat look. This is great for beginners because it removes the distraction of too many keys on the console and prevents them from getting overwhelmed with the controls. The Alesis Recital is simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate which, for me, is ideal for new pianists.
Another thing I like about the Alesis Recital’s appearance is the matte faux metal finish of the console. The grainy surface is not a fingerprint magnet so you do not have to worry about leaving marks when you press the buttons to access the keyboard’s functions.
1.2 Feel & Sensitivity
The Alesis Recital is semi-weighted. This means that when you press the keys, they have the same resistance as an acoustic piano or a grand piano. The difference, however, appears once you release the keys. Due to the Alesis Recital being semi-weighted, there are springs installed under the keys that allow them to spring back up in no time.
For many professional pianists, this can be a little distracting since they are used to a little bit more weight on the keys. However, this setup is perfect for beginners since it is much easier to play when there is less resistance.
One thing to remember though is that many think that a semi-weighted keyboard might make it a little harder for you to transfer to an acoustic keyboard. Since unweighted and semi-weighted keyboards have less resistance, your finger and wrist muscles might not be as well-developed as that of someone who practiced on a fully-weighted or acoustic keyboard.
The Alesis Recital is also known to have velocity-sensitive, touch-responsive keys. This allows the keyboard to play loudly or softly, depending on how hard you press on the keys. Furthermore, the keyboard gives you an option to customize and tweak the settings to your heart’s content allowing you to feel completely at ease while playing.
At such an affordable price, the amount of features on the Alesis Recital is almost surprising, On top of its sound performance, it also comes with a variety of unique modes and functions that truly makes it a unique piano. This section will look into these features, exploring its purposes and hopefully showing you how it can be useful for you.
This electronic keyboard offers 3 different modes for its patrons.
First, we have the Layer Mode. Essentially, this allows you to play two sounds at the same time. For example, you can select the option to layer one of the pre-installed instrument sounds on top of the standard piano. This feature is great for those who are looking to put some variety into their playing.
Next, we have the Split Mode. This mode divides your piano into two parts, each part playing a different pre-installed instrument. What is really cool about this mode is that you can customize which key your keyboard splits. For example, if you want your keyboard to split on the second C after Middle C, all you have to do is select the Split mode and press on that key.
Last but not least is the Duo Mode. This mode is perfect for beginners, especially those who have tutors coming over for their lessons. What the duo mode does is, similar to the split mode, splits the keyboard into two parts. However, instead of playing different instruments, you play the same instrument in the same octave. This makes it easier for teachers to teach students on the same keyboard and for students to easily follow their instructions.
On top of the different modes, the Alesis Recital also provides useful functions that will truly help a beginner improve.
One such function is the Transposition Function that raises the tone of the keys one semitone higher than normal. This function is helpful when a piece you are practicing stray from standard notes.
Another useful function is the Touch Sensitivity. As previously mentioned, the Alesis Recital is pressure and velocity-sensitive. Using this function, you can customize how responsive the keyboard is. You also have the option to turn it off if it is simply not your style.
Lastly, the Alesis Recital like most other electronic keyboards has the Metronome Function. This is a great addition for beginners, especially those who still need to work on their rhythm and timing. The metronome function of the Alesis Recital is also adjustable. You can change the speed of the metronome from 30 beats per minute to 280 beats per minute.
When it comes to connectivity options, the Alesis Recital is pretty standard. You can connect the keyboard to your computer using the USB to Port cable and turn it into a workstation keyboard.
(If you would like to find out about different types of keyboards as well as other Best Ways to Learn The Piano, give this article a read!)
The sound performance of the piano is one of its most important aspects.
For the Alesis Recital, the strongest feature of this keyboard is its sound quality. Equipped with a pair of 20-watt speakers, this keyboard produces clear, crisp, and loud sounds that are good for a decent-sized room.
The Alesis Recital has 5 different pre-installed sounds, which is fewer than most electronic keyboards in the same price range. However, this amount is just right for a beginner. If you are a more advanced pianist looking at the Alesis Recital, you might find that the sustain of each note is a bit shorter than what you would normally hear in an acoustic piano. Personally, this bothers me a little bit but if you can handle a shorter sustain tail then this should not be a problem.
Let us take a closer look at the piano’s amazing speakers, the different effects it has installed as well as the polyphony.
Compared to other keyboards in the same price range, the Alesis Recital boasts a decent pair of 10-watt speakers. Most keyboards in the Alesis Recital’s price range usually have 2 to 6-watt speakers. The 10-watt speakers produce clear, loud sounds.
Unfortunately, some have reported hearing distortion when the volume of the keyboard is set to high. However, if you are a beginner or are simply going to use it for practice, keeping the volume on medium should not be a problem. If you find yourself needing to increase the volume, a great idea would be to plug it into an amplifier.
The Alesis Recital comes with a few effects that you can use to add more character to the way you play. The effects are the following:
- Reverb Effects that change the sound of your playing to simulate the way it should sound if you were playing in a specific room or a piano hall.
- Chorus Effects that are perfect for pairing with synths and other electric pianos.
- Delay Effects that add a little bit of echo when you play
- Pedal Resonance which imitates the sound of an acoustic piano when the sustain pedal is pressed down.
Despite this keyboard not having a lot of effects, I think this setup is perfect for beginners. It does not distract them from the goal which is to learn the basics and slowly get better at playing. At this stage, an enormous amount of effects would just be overwhelming and useless.
This is another thing that I admire about the Alesis Recital. This electronic keyboard is known to have a polyphony of 128 notes.
If you are not aware, polyphony is the ability of a piano to play several notes at the same time. Most pianos at the same price range the Alesis Recital is in only goes up to 64. The Alesis Recital has twice the amount of that. This makes for natural, full sounds whenever you are playing.
The Alesis Recital also has Stereo Outputs that allow you to hook it up to louder speakers should you plan to use it as a performance piano.
This keyboard has a Headphone Jack and a Sustain Pedal Jack, which is very important for pianos to have–especially those geared towards beginners. Since the goal of such keyboards is to help new pianists familiarize the feel of an acoustic piano, a sustain pedal (and a jack to connect it to) should be standard.
What the Alesis Recital does lack is a Bluetooth connection, which has now become a standard for today’s electronic keyboards. It would have also been nice to be able to connect your devices to this keyboard and play your own samples through an auxiliary stereo jack but, unfortunately, the Alesis Recital does not come with one either.
3.4 Pedal Resonance
This is one of the unique features of the Alesis Recital. The pedal resonance of an electronic keyboard is usually triggered using an external pedal connected to the jack installed in the device. However, with this keyboard’s pedal resonance effect, you can simulate the sound of a pedaled piano without the pedal just by sifting through the controls.
For me, I still prefer having a physical pedal as it helps you familiarize yourself with the makings of an actual acoustic piano. However, this is a fantastic substitute for those who do not have one yet.
3.5 Skoove Subscription
On top of the already incredible features of the Alesis Recital, this keyboard creator has also partnered up with Skoove to further assist piano beginners. Upon purchase of the keyboard, you can try out the premium version of Skoove, a piano learning app.
If you would like to read more about Skoove, I wrote an article about it a little while back. You can read my Skoove Review here to find out if this online piano app is a good fit for you. Since the Alesis Recital comes with a free 3-month premium Skoove subscription, you might be interested in reading more about it.
In terms of accessories, the Alesis Recital comes up a bit short. Aside from a standard music stand and the 3-month premium Skoove subscription, there is not much else included in the package. This means you will need to buy your own pedal and stand. Luckily, the Alesis has a standard set up so it would fit with any generic stand and pedal. The downside is that you will have to spend some extra cash to get the whole thing set up.
The price is another one of the biggest factors when purchasing a keyboard. This is true not just for beginners but for pianists of all levels. Everyone wants a piano where the features outweigh the price. In this section, we will see that the Alesis Recital is one such piano.
In this section, I would like to compare the Alesis Recital with other pianos around the same price range.
Based on the comparison above, you will find that the Alesis Recital wins in terms of basic features. While some of these electric keyboards come close in terms of size and speaker power, the Alesis Recital’s polyphony far surpasses most keyboards within its price range.
6.1 Unbiased Text Reviews
I have also taken the liberty to scour the internet for opinions on the Alesis Recital. These are comments and complaints from random users sprinkled all over the internet. These people have tried and tested the Alesis Recital and this is what they have to say:
Here is what one Reddit user has to say about the Alesis Recital (6).
Here is another comment from another Reddit User (7).
This Reddit User, on the other hand, suggests that you invest in a better keyboard (8).
Here is what this Reddit User has to say in terms of the price (9).
To finish this section off, let us look into some customer reviews from the Alesis Recital’s own Amazon store (10). Here is what I found:
As you can see, there is a mixture of positive and negative reviews about the Alesis Recital. This is especially true on Reddit where most people seem to be dead set on calling out the blunders that come with this electric piano. Despite these, there are still a lot of pleased patrons.
From what I see, it is often those who have significant expertise in playing the piano who have some complaints regarding the quality. This is fair because the piano is not geared for professionals or advanced pianists but for beginners and hobbyists.
6.2 Helpful Video Reviews
On top of text reviews, I have also looked up a couple of video reviews! Feel free to watch them and get a more in-depth look at this keyboard.
All in all, I would give the Alesis Recital 4 out of 5 stars.
Many critics would say that Alesis Recital is far too cheap of a keyboard to be listed among big names such as Korg, Yamaha, Casio, and many others. However, I think Alesis is really onto something here.
Producing good quality products for such an affordable price makes it both attractive and accessible to those who are interested in learning how to play. This includes those who would like to learn how to play but do not have the budget to invest in a top-tier electric keyboard.
Despite what others say, the Alesis Recital is the perfect keyboard for beginners given that it is affordable and full of features geared to improve anyone’s learning experience. The modes and functions of this electronic keyboard greatly improve tutorial sessions and practice times.
The Alesis Recital is not just for beginners though, it is also a fairly decent piano even to more advanced pianists. The effects and other modes such as the layering provides amazing versatility and adds more character to your playstyle.
One thing I am particularly concerned about the Alesis Recital is the durability of the whole thing. As expected, you simply cannot get a perfect piano in such a low price range and it is pretty obvious that the Alesis Recital went all out on features but cut back in terms of durability. Still, this piano is not just going to simply break down on you in the middle of playing. If you are careful with using it, it can still last you for a good amount of time.
There is also a huge lack in terms of extra accessories but in all honesty, for this price, I simply do not mind it at all. At least like this, you can easily go for a good quality pedal and stand. Despite these small cons, the Alesis Recital is still an amazing piano not just for beginners. Its small but useful set of sounds and effects along with the crisp and clear sound quality makes it all worth it.
The Alesis Recital does not come with a lot of accessories. Upon purchase, you will get a standard quality music stand and a free 3-month subscription to Skoove Premium.
Despite its decent amount of pros, it has pretty low durability compared to most electronic keyboards in its price range.
The difference between the Alesis Recital and the Alesis Recital Pro is the price, features, accessories included, and durability. The Alesis Recital Pro is more expensive, has more notable features, and is clearly far more durable than the Alesis Recital. The Alesis Recital is geared to provide an option for those who are looking for a budget version of the Alesis Recital Pro.
The Alesis Recital has semi-weighted keys. This means that although there is resistance on the keys when pressed, there is still a spring installed under each one for the keys to bounce back faster.