Alesis Recital Pro Review

When I first played Alesis Recital last year, I thought it was a very good digital piano for its price, and I recommended it to many of my students who were looking for an inexpensive keyboard to get started. Although there were some things that I did not really like about Recital. For example, I would like the keyboard to be weighted. A small display would add some ease in manipulating with the sounds. And also a recording function would be useful. Of course I knew that all these improvements would move the piano to another price niche. And so it happened:) Alesis seemed to hear my thoughts and in 2017 released an updated version of Recital, which they called Recital Pro. My review of Alesis Recital Pro is below.

Recital Pro front
Alesis Recital Pro

Keyboard

Recital Pro has a full-sized weighted 88-key keyboard with adjustable touch sensitivity. Though the keys don’t feel as natural as they could, but the feeling of playing is very nice. Touch response is used to control the level of the voice depending on your playing  strength. That means the harder you play the keys, the greater volume comes from the speakers. You can adjust touch sensitivity by choosing one of the touch levels: Off (fixed velocity), Soft, Medium, Hard.

Sounds and Effects

The Recital Pro has 12 built-in voices. That’s 6 instruments each with 2 variations: Piano, Electric piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Synth, Acoustic bass. Voice selection has been made a very easy process: you just press one of the 6 voice buttons, it lights blue. To choose the second variation of the voice press the voice button one more time, it turns red which means that another voice variation is selected. The voice name is duplicated on the screen. Very simple and easy!

Alesis Recital Pro control buttons

Below the voices buttons there is an effects section. You can add or remove Modulation, Chorus and Reverb to your voice by pressing one of the effects buttons.

Recital Pro has 128-note polyphony, which is very good for digital piano under $500, so you can be sure that you won’t loose any note when playing with multiple voices at the same time.

Controls and Features

There are also some extra features in Alesis Recital Pro. One of them is the Layer mode. You can select two different voices simultaneously and the piano will layer them together. This can be done very easy: just select the first voice, and then holding down the layer button select the second voice. That’s all – now you are playing with 2 layered sounds.

Another great feature is the Split mode. In this mode you can divide the keyboard into two parts, and play one voice in the left hand and the other voice in the right hand.

By pressing the Lesson button the Lesson mode is turned on. Very useful feature for piano teachers like me. It splits the keyboard into two parts with identical voice and pitch, so the student can play on his part watching me playing on my.

Metronome button to turn on the metronome. You can adjust speed between 30 and 280 BPM which is more then enough for any needs.

By using the Transpose button and turning the Value Dial the overall pitch of the piano will be transposed up or down by a maximum of 1 octave (in semitone increments).

The Record mode allows you to record your song into the internal memory and play it back after that. Only 1 song can be recorded with Recital Pro.

You can also adjust Pedal resonance (Recital Pro reproduces the unique sound characteristics of an acoustic piano when using a sustain pedal) and change preset EQ modes (Standard, Modern, Rock, Classic and Jazz).

Additional features

We went to a picnic last weekend, and one of my friends took his new Recital Pro to show off. I was surprised that it doesn’t need electricity to play! Besides power adapter Recital Pro can be powered by 6 D-cell batteries. Very useful if you play outdoors without outlets nearby or just forgot the power supply.

Recital Pro Battery

Connections

Recital Pro has all the required connectors:

  • 2 line outputs (1/4″) to connect to the external amplifier system or home stereo system. But the internal speakers are quite loud and will be enough for a medium room.
  • 1 headphone output (1/4″) to connect headphones. Connecting headphones to this output will mute the built-in speakers and you will be able to play without making a sound.
  • 1 Sustain pedal input (1/4″) to connect sustain pedal (not included). Unfortunately you will not be able to connect other pedals or 3-pedal unit to Recital Pro
  • USB-midi output – with the help of a usual printer cable you will be able to connect your Recital Pro to computer and use educational software or virtual instruments plugins.
  • Connector for power adapter (included). You can also power the piano with the help of D-cell batteries (not included).

The package includes

  • Recital Pro Digital Piano
  • Power Adapter
  • Music Rest
  • User Guide

Notice, that the sustain pedal is not included, but you can buy it separately – any pedal with the standard 1/4″ jack should be good.

Don’t forget to buy a piano stand for your Recital Pro.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • The price is very affordable
    • Weighted full-sized keys
    • Possibility to power by batteries
    • Very easy to use
    • Has a small screen on top panel
  • Cons
    • Only one song can be recorded (if you want to record another, you have to overwrite the first one)
    • Top 8-10 notes don’t sound like a musical note
    • Sustain pedal not included

Conclusion

Alesis Recital Pro is a beginner piano and a very nice economy basic piano to start with. It has weighted keys, easy to carry (the weight is 26 lbs), it can run on batteries, has split/layer/lesson modes and more. It is very simple to use and easy to sort out all the functions even without looking into a manual. If you are a professional or study seriously I would recommend looking for other models in the same price range, such as Alesis Coda Pro or Yamaha P45. But for beginners this piano is a nice choice.

Recital Pro Main Specifications

  • Keyboard: 88 hammer-action keys
  • Polyphony: 128 voices
  • Built-in voices: 12
  • Demo songs: 10
  • Metronome: Yes (30-280 BPM)
  • Layer Mode: Yes
  • Split Mode: Yes
  • Lesson (Duet) Mode: Yes
  • Recording: 1 user song
  • Built-in speakers: Total 2x20W (2x10W woofers, and 2x20W tweeters)
  • Connectors:
    • 2xLine outputs (1/4″)
    • Headphone output (1/4″)
    • Sustain pedal input (1/4″)
    • USB to host (Type B)
    • Power adapter input
  • Weight: 26 lbs/11.8 kg
  • Dimensions: 51.6″ x 13.8″ x 5.5″
  • Dimensions: 131 x 35.1 x 14 cm

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