Alesis Recital Review: Excellent 88-Key Keyboard For Beginners

Alesis has been a major manufacturer of advanced electronics since the mid-1980s. In particular, Alesis stands out for their chic line of electronic pianos. They provide a huge selection of electronic instruments including electronic drum machines, digital audio interfaces, studio qualityprofessional recording equipment and a host of other amazing percussion and audio products.

Alesis Recital Review: Excellent 88-Key Keyboard For Beginners
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The Alesis Recital digital piano is one of the brand’s most notable products. This is one of the best keyboards for beginners considering its excellent design and looks. In addition, this tool combines good quality with a very affordable price.

In our review, we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using Alesis Recital. At the end of the article, you’ll find a comparison of the Alesis Recital with several other well-known beginner digital pianos to help you make an informed choice.

Alesis Recital Review – Specifications

One of the features of Alesis Recital is that it is one of the few inexpensive keyboards with semi-weighted keys. This is especially tempting for people who are looking for a cheap alternative to an acoustic piano.

Alesis Recital Review – Specifications
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Let’s take a closer look at the features and specifications of this electronic piano.

Key Weighting Semi Weighted Keys
Touch Sensitivity4 Levels
Key Count88 Full-sized Keys
Number of voices5 Voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass)
Polyphony128 note polyphony
The EffectsChorus & Reverb, Pedal Resonance
ConnectivityHeadphone jack (1/4″), L/R lines out (RCA), MIDI USB out, sustain pedal input (1/4″)
Modes Layer mode/Split mode/Lesson mode
Speakers Dual 10W speakers
Weight15.7 lbs
Dimensions50″ x 11.5″ x 3.4″


Alesis Recital has a simple elegant design. The body of the piano is made of plastic, it has a semi-gloss finish in the style of faux metal at the top of the front panel. All buttons and switches are located on the top panel.

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Piano buttons have a special backlight that simplifies operation. You will always know which sound or effect is active.

The piano also has a durable plastic music rest that attaches to the top of the cabinet. It perfectly fits standard music books or a tablet.


The 88 touch sensitivesemi-weighted keys on the Alesis Recital provide some resistance to your fingers as you play. They don’t quite replicate the feel of an acoustic piano as fully weighted keys or hammer action keys do. They are significantly lighter than a fully weighted digital piano keyboard, but have a noticeable “bouncy” feel.

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The keyboard weighs approximately 15 pounds, which is 10-15 pounds less than conventional full-weighted pianos, making it more portable. Another advantage of semi-weighted keys is that they are lighter than fully-weighted hammer action keys. Just be aware that switching to a fully weighted digital piano (or acoustic piano) will take some getting used to if you get used to these sorts of keys.

Depending on how you wish to play, you may set the 4 levels of touch sensitivity (3 levels + “off”) that control how much pressure is needed to sound a note.

Piano Sound

The sound of the Alesis Recital is perhaps its strongest feature. Although there are just 5 onboard sounds available (Piano, Electric Piano, Synth, Organ Voice and Bass), they are all crisp and clear, which is perfect for beginners. You will hear truly excellent sound quality from this entry level digital piano.

You must have a good piano sound in order to hear the dynamics of your playing and any potential errors you may have committed.

The standard piano sound has a respectable sample quality and offers a considerable deal of dynamic fluctuation thanks to multisampling. The amazing dual 10W speakers may have contributed to some of this.

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Moreover, you get electric piano, organ, synth, and bass sounds. The Synth sound is much better than on other cheap keyboards, which is what impresses me most of all these sounds, although they are all generally usable.

Additionally, the bass sound is useful for practicing left- and right-handed splits with walking bass. You’ll get goosebumps listening to organ sounds, especially because you have complete control over the chorus and reverb settings.

Strings voices are the only prominent “type” of voice that is absent (strings are frequently layered behind the piano in ballads).

  • Sound effects

With the Pedal Resonance, Reverb and Chorus effects that the Alesis Recital has, you can give your playing more room and variety.

Overall, you receive:

  • 5 types of reverb – Room, Hall, Church, Delay & Pan Delay
  • 5 types of chorus – Chorus 1,2,3, Flanger & Rotary
  • Pedal Resonance – Imitation of a damper pedal on an acoustic piano

Alesis Recital can play up to 128 notes in polyphony. This is quite a lot, especially for inexpensive keyboards. I give credit to Alesis because most inexpensive keyboards only have a maximum polyphony of 64 notes.

In this article, you can learn more about what digital piano polyphony is and why you need it.

  • Speaker system

The Alesis Recital boasts twin 10W speakers, which are high wattages that can potentially fill out even medium-sized rooms without the need for external speakers (more than other keyboards at this price bracket).

However, do not use the onboard speakers at maximum volume. While they sound fantastic at moderate volumes, sound quality deteriorates at too high volumes. For live performances, it is advisable to use external amplifiers.

Alesis Recital Review – The Features

Alesis Recital has a few more learning features that are very important for beginner pianists.

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Alesis keyboard has 3 modes – Layer, Split and Lesson mode.

  1. Layer mode, which enables you to simultaneously activate two sounds with each key hit, may be utilized to give your playing more depth. By simultaneously pressing two voice buttons, this is activated. By default, each sound will be separated by an octave.
  2. You can split the keyboard into two voices using Split mode, one on the left and one on the right. For example, you can put the bass on the left and the electric piano or piano on the right, playing jazz or bass tunes with walking bass lines on the keyboard.
  3. So that you and your teacher can play the same notes at the same time, the Lesson mode splits the piano into two halves with the same octaves.


This digital piano also has important features such as transposition, pressure sensitivity, free access to lessons (Skoove 3 month premium subscription and 60 free virtual lessons from Melodics), and even the metronome.

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  • Transposition

You may transpose the keys up or down, which is a really useful function, especially for newbies. One small drawback of this is that there is no way to “return to standard tuning” without keeping track of how many steps up or down you went; the only transposing control you have is 1/2 step up or 1/2 step down. If you forget, the only way to revert back to standard is to turn the piano off and back on.

  • Metronome

You may alter the metronome’s settings to vary not only the tempo but also the beat that the main “chime” is played on (the default is 4; you can change it to 3 for 3/4, 2 for 2/4, etc.). You can do this by manually inputting the BPM or by tapping a tempo to set it.

If you still don’t know what a metronome is for and how to use it in your daily practices, read our article.


The Alesis Recital offers excellent connectivity options, making it incredibly easy to plug in electricity, utilize headphones, and even connect through USB.

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  1. Let’s start by looking at the USB MIDI port (USB connection). The USB MIDI connect feature of a digital audio workstation makes it simple to record MIDI tracks. You can easily and effortlessly write as many songs as you want.
  2. You may plug any amplifier or speaker system with an AUX input or RCA input into the Stereo RCA output on the back of the keyboard itself.
  3. The Keyboard has two speakers that provide amazing music. However, you may silence the speakers and have a more private practice session by simply inserting your headphones into the 6.35MM audio jack.
  4. A damper pedal must be connected to a Sustain Pedal jack, which is a requirement for piano practice. Unfortunately, there is no sustain pedal included in the box with the keyboard.
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Alesis Recital Review – Accessories

For more comfortable learning and playing the piano, you may need some accessories that you can purchase separately.

  • Pedal. The first and essential accessory is the sustain pedal. You can find bundles that include a sustain pedal, or purchase the pedal separately. An excellent and inexpensive option would be the M-Audio SP-2 Universal Sustain Pedal.
  • Stand. There is no stand included with the Alesis Recital either, but that is to be anticipated. The good news is that it will function with the majority of generic X- and Z-style stands, including the reasonably priced and reliable RockJam Xfinity Double-X stand.
  • Headphones. When you wish to practice in privacy, concentrating just on your playing and not bothering anyone nearby, headphones are a great tool. Furthermore, compared to the integrated speakers, a decent set of headphones will deliver a crisper and more detailed sound. Learn how to select the finest headphones for your keyboard by reading this tutorial.
  • Piano Bench. A good adjustable piano bench is very important for proper seating and posture. You can choose the best option for any budget in our guide.


Does Alesis Recital have touch sensitivity?

Yes. Alesis keyboard keys provide a feel similar to an acoustic pianos. There are four levels of sensitivity (actually three levels plus an option to deactivate sensitivity).

Is Alesis Recital Pro fully weighted?

Yes. With 88 fully weighted keys, the Alesis Recital Pro reproduces the feel of a real piano almost perfectly. The only difference is that the keys have no gradation, unlike an acoustic piano where the keys on the left are more difficult to play than the keys on the right.

Is the Alesis Recital grand the same as prestige?

Yes. The Prestige and Recital grand pianos are identical. Alesis “Prestige” also has the name “Recital Grand”. Both the piano and the price are the same.

Can the Alesis Recital be used as a MIDI controller?

Yes, you can use an Alesis Recital as a MIDI controller. There is a USB Type B to Host port available. You may use this to operate a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) using the Alesis Recital as a MIDI keyboard. With several MIDI channels available from the internal firmware, this is fairly robust.

The Other Electric Piano Choices

Alesis Recital is an excellent entry-level digital piano at an affordable price. But let’s compare it to other best selling digital pianos for beginners.

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The Yamaha Piaggero NP-32 has 76 keys rather than 88, and while they are not regarded as semi-weighted keys, there is a tiny gradation in their feel (so the left keys are a little bit harder to press than the right ones, similar to an acoustic piano).

However, the Yamaha has smaller speakers, no line-out jacks, half as much polyphony (64 instead of 128), and no chorus. It also has a single track recording function, more sounds than the Alesis, and a compatible app to help control settings.

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Yamaha P-45 has a fully 88-key keyboard with Yamaha’s GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) weighted action. This piano features 10 different sounds, including digital stereo samples from genuine Yamaha acoustic grand pianos. The Yamaha piano stands out from the rest in premium quality, but costs a bit more than the Alesis Recital.

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Among Alesis keyboards, I would like to highlight the wonderful digital piano Alesis Prestige Artist. This is an 88-key piano keyboard with adjustable sensitivity of piano keys and graduated weighted hammer action for a realistic piano feel. Piano has 30 multisampled tones, including organ, synths, electric piano, grand piano, and more.

The keyboard has a maximum polyphony of 256; the acoustic system with a microarray with a power of 50 W; LCD screen for easy operation; 1/4″ and 1/8″ (3.5 mm) headphone outputs; Stereo outputs 1/4″; USB-MIDI output. This is a slightly more expensive keyboard than the Alesis Recital.

If you want to know what other low-cost quality digital pianos are out there, I invite you to check out our Best Digital Piano Under $300 guide.

For kids who are starting to learn how to play the piano, a keyboard with lighted keys is a great option. You can find options for such keyboards in our review – Top 10 Pianos With Light-Up Keys.

Alesis Digital Piano Review – Conclusion

The Alesis Recital is a great electronic piano to start with if you’re new to the world of electronic pianos. Its overall usage and functionality is superior to its competitors, and the price is quite low. After reading a lot of opinions about these keyboards, we have come to the general conclusion that if you decide to make this purchase, you will be satisfied.

Alesis Recital could be a great first digital piano. This piano features a large number of special learning features and lessons that will make it easier and more fun to start your musical journey.

However, it should be borne in mind that its functionality and capabilities are limited only to the initial level of education. For a more advanced and even more professional level of training, you will need a much more expensive musical instrument.

If you have any questions about this piano, you can ask them in the comments and we will definitely answer them. Well, if you are one of the owners of this musical instrument, share your experience of using it in the comments.

To learn even more about this digital piano, I suggest you watch the following great video review.

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