Have you been searching for a great home digital piano that won’t break the bank?Are you a professional musician in need of a portable 88-key digital piano for your gigs?
Read on for my Alesis Recital 88-Key review to find out more about this affordable instrument.
Whether you’re a gigging pro or are simply considering lessons for yourself or your family, this keyboard can do it all.
Let’s face it – most digital pianos and portable keyboards that either have too many features (resulting in a larger size and heftier price tag) or not nearly enough (leaving you with thin-sounding keys or a lack of available voices).
The Alesis Recital is sleek, featuring five distinct voices you can select with the touch of a button.
There’s no confusing programming cluttering up the face of the piano, and the semi-weighted keys with adjustable touch response allow your dynamics to shine.
Alesis Recital Review
In my initial Alesis Recital 88-key review, I found it to be a great, budget-conscious option for new musicians. Weighing in at just under 16lbs, the Alesis Recital keyboard is also a fantastic option for a gigging musician (or college student!) in need of a lightweight, portable, full-size digital piano. The speakers boast 20 watts of power – enough for an intimate venue.
There’s also an RCA-output to connect to an amplifier for a larger gig, and a ¼” headphone jack for when you need to practice quietly.
The Alesis Recital also allows you to combine voices. If you’re performing solo, you can layer two voices (choose from acoustic or electric piano, synth, organ, or bass) simultaneously for a rich, full sound.
You can also split the voices, so your left hand can play the bass groove while your right hand takes over the piano melody – which sounds pretty awesome live!
If you’re a teacher – like me – or your teacher comes to your house, you’ll love the “Lesson Mode” feature!
You know how the teacher and student usually sit together at the piano and one person has to play in a really low octave while the other plays up in the stratosphere?
Simply press the “Lesson” button on the front and the keyboard splits into two equal halves – each with the same pitch.
Now your students will be able to play exactly what they see and hear you playing, without the confusion of playing in different octaves.
- Price point. Finding a quality keyboard on a budget can be very challenging. Will the keyboard have the basic features you need – including a metronome and a vareity of voices? Will it have all 88 keys? Can you use a sustain pedal with it? The Alesis Recital is an affordable solution to each of these needs.
- Portability. As mentioned above, this keyboard is definitely portable. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight gig instrument that won’t break your back, or you just want something for the kids to take to Grandma’s, this is your keyboard.
- Realistic sound/tones. Nobody wants to play a digital keyboard that sounds ONLY like a digital keyboard. Although this keyboard only offers five voices, they’re high quality and can be combined to create a ton of different sounds.
- Partially-weighted, touch response keys. The main pro of partially-weighted keys is how light the keyboard is – under 16lbs – while still giving your hands feedback. Touch-sensitivity allows players of all levels to use dynamics. You’ll clearly hear the difference between those Mozart pianissimos and Beethoven fortissimos!
- Simple, elegant design. I may be biased here, but this is one of my personal favorite features of the keyboard. I’ve played a ton of digital pianos over the years and I find I often get overwhelmed with the sheer number of buttons and combinations available on most of the portable keyboards. I also tend to find the quality of voice offerings to be lower when there are over 300 voices to choose from. The Alesis Recital looks sleek and simple – like an acoustic piano – and offers only five top-quality voices. I don’t get too distracted by features when I just want to sit and play the piano.
- Limited variety of tones. I know I just said the limited variety of tones is a plus, so hear me out on this one: if you’re looking for an instrument with which to make beats, program a ton of cool effects for certain songs, or you have a child who prefers the sound of choirs and spaceships to pianos, this may not be the piano for you. Although the five voices it does have can be layered and split, they don’t sound like spaceships.
- No XLR-out channel. This is kind of a small negative, but if you have an amp already that doesn’t have an RCA input, you may not be able to plug this keyboard in. It’s not a huge deal, but worth considering if you’re looking to perform with it, since the speakers themselves can distort when you crank the volume all the way up.
- Headphone jack is ¼”. Again, not a major deal, but if the only headphones you have around the house are the 1/8” ones that plug into your computer/smartphone, you’ll need to pick up an adaptor to play/practice quietly – especially if you have kids learning Jingle Bells!
- Not fully-weighted. As mentioned above, the keys are not fully-weighted, hammer-action keys – which is great for portability and buget-friendliness, but not so great for extremely discerning players looking for the feel of a Steinway grand. If you’re an advanced player seeking a digital version of your favorite acoustic grand piano, this may not be the instrument for you.
If you’re looking for a great full-size digital piano for your kids to learn and practice on, you’re watching your budget, and you don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, this keyboard is a fantastic option.
If you’re more of a professional looking for an acoustic piano replacement, you’ll probably want to spend a bit more to get fully-weighted keys and an even more natural acoustic piano sound.
That said, this is just one Alesis Recital 88-key review, and, as a teacher, I always recommend doing your research prior to purchase.
Identify your priorities for your new keyboard, and, if you have a teacher, ask him/her for advice.
You want to ensure you’re comfortable playing this piano since you’ll be making music on it for years to come!