Review: 9 Things I Love About the Alesis Recital Pro Digital Piano
In this article, I am going to tell you the 9 features I love about the Alesis Recital Pro digital piano with 88 fully-weighted, hammer action keys that replicates the touch response of a traditional acoustic piano.
Priced at only $380 USD, the Alesis Recital Pro is one of the cheapest digital piano from a well-known brand in the industry that comes with 88-keys that are fully-weighted and touch sensitive. The key response and key noise is definitely above average for this price bracket.
Alesis has more than 2 decades of experience in manufacturing keyboards and this experience shows. The piano, electric piano, harpsichord and organ samples sound more expensive than the price suggests. While it isn’t as good as those found on the Roland FP10 & Yamaha P45, you do get a significant 25% savings going with the Alesis Recital Pro. However, with a couple of tweaks on this digital piano, which I will elaborate more on later, you can get the voices to sound as good as the competition.
Alesis managed to strike a balance in the design of the Recital Pro, it is allows the Recital Pro to have a good balance between portability and playability. The brushed aluminium accent on the fascia is a nice classy touch compared to the boring black & white boxes from Yamaha, Roland, Korg & Casio
While every other manufacturer is trying to save cost and stripping out their LCD screens from their entry level digital piano and relegating accessing the functions of their pianos to a combination of button and key presses, Alesis inclusion of a backlit LCD is such a joy. The LCD screen takes the guesswork out of selecting sounds, accessing deeper functions and adjusting parameters.
Layer & Split
While most digital pianos at this price can layer voices for a richer tone, few can split tones on both sides of the keyboard. On the Alesis Pro Recital, it doesn’t only layer or split — you can both layer multiple sounds and assign another voice on the left keyboard split at the same time. In addition, you can balance the volume mix of all the different layers, a feature missing on the competition.
While pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Korg & Casio offer an obligatory handful of reverb and chorus effects, the Alesis Recital Pro takes things one step further. In addition to 16 reverb and chorus effects, the Recital Pro has a button which dynamically assigns a suitable voice modulation such as tremolo, vibrato and rotary effects to the voice selected.
Alesis decided not to follow the trend of having minimal amount of buttons which is a relief — you get loads of easy to access buttons. Selecting sounds, turning on/off effects, transposing your playing, voice layers, voice splits, turning on/off the metronome are all easily accessible with a dual colour LED on the buttons so you know at all times which voice and effect is active. In fact, with these buttons, the Recital Pro can be very comfortable for stage use.
¼” Stereo Outputs
Anyone intending to hook up their keyboards to a more powerful speaker system will appreciate the dedicated ¼” stereo L/R outputs on the Alesis Recital Pro. If you intend to gig with it, ¼” stereo outputs is almost a necessity. Digital pianos from other big brands costing way more than the Recital Pro are expecting you to use the headphones jack to connect to external speakers, which is less than ideal.
The Alesis Recital Pro can be powered via either an electrical outlet or with batteries. The sensible design, reasonable weight, convenient buttons, ¼” line outputs coupled with battery operation means this piano is great for busking, small gigs and moving to different rooms in your home when necessary.
Now, nothing is perfect and the Alesis Recital Pro isn’t.
These are the 4 things that I do not like about it.
Electric Piano Sound
For a digital piano, especially one that’s portable and has great potential to gig with, I expect more than a single electric piano sound. There is no excuse to not include the staple Rhodes, Wurlitzer & DX7 sounds in the Recital Pro.
No sustain pedal included in the box
There is no sustain pedal included in the box — not even a cheap little square plastic pedal. A damper pedal is essential for piano playing and not including one in the box is just an unneeded oversight.
The onboard speakers on the Alesis Pro Recital sound tiny, cheap, and lack any sort of warmth. At such a low price, I don’t expect much from a digital piano’s built-in speakers but this is definitely below average. You will get a much better sound quality from a good pair of headphones instead.
No aux audio in
Being able to stream backing-tracks from a mobile device to a digital piano’s speakers is a given these days. With many brands progressing even beyond a standard auxiliary audio in jack to bluetooth connectivity. I hope the next update to the Recital Pro will include the ability to stream audio to the onboard speakers. However, the current Alesis Pro Recital has no auxiliary audio in jack.
I hope you found my review of the Alesis Pro Recital useful! Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices of the Alesis Pro Recital. Do take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need.