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Alesis Coda Review - Armchair Empire

Alesis Coda Review

  • 9/10
    Sound Quality - 9/10
  • 8.3/10
    Features - 8.3/10
  • 7.5/10
    Audio Effects - 7.5/10
  • 7/10
    Value - 7/10
8.0/10

Our Rating

Table Of Contents

Intro  •  My Review  •  Pros  •  Cons  •  Features  •  Conclusion

Alesis Coda Introduction

Designed for musicians at heart, the Alesis Coda is a technologically superior piano. This digital piano is more than just a musical instrument – feature packed to the brim allowing it to do more than play out tunes. Semi-weighted full sized keys, 88 in total give the feel of an actual piano without burning a hole in your pocket. For those who want the complete piano feel, Alesis offers the Coda Pro with Hammer-action weighted keys!

alesis coda 3

Frankly, the Coda series was designed keeping professionals in mind however, this piano with its simplicity and versatility is just as suitable for schools, students, recreational studio and stage use. Make your own music in real time or record them on your own personal laptop studio with the Coda digital piano. It connects to a computer using the USB-MIDI port thus allowing you to take clinical control over any virtual recording or instrument software.

The Coda series comes with a user record mode and total of 60 preset songs that you can practice to, if you are a student of the keyboard. What is astounding about this particular model from Alesis is its exclusive SONiVOX and AIR Music Technology. If you aren’t aware of what these add-ons in a piano can do, just google the terms up! And finally, you get your basic set of connection ports that include a ¼ aux output, dual ¼ headphone outputs, a sustain pedal input and a stereo ¼ aux input.

Alesis Coda | 88-Key Digital Piano with Semi-Weighted Keys, Split Keyboard & Voice Layering, and Included Sustain Pedal
  • 88-key semi-weighted keyboard with aux input for playing alongside external equipment
  • 20 built-in voices, with ability to split or layer two voices simultaneously
  • Play along with 60 preset songs or record your own with the User Record mode

Alesis Coda Review & Experience

For the price, this piano is an excellent buy. Alesis isn’t as old as Yamaha or other major manufacturers but they have managed to replicate the natural piano sound rather well. On recordings we made with this piano, it really is hard to tell if it is in fact an acoustic piano being played or a digital version. In other words, the sound quality of the Alesis Coda Semi-Weighted Digital Piano is top notch and not at all synthetic sounding.

As for the feel or touch of its semi-weighted keys, there is not much difference with respect to the real thing. Weight displacement is perfect. In fact, it is so perfect that compared to other major digital piano brands, the keys are a bit on the stiffer side. On the one hand, it takes more effort to create songs on this keyboard, but on the other hand because of the higher stiffness and perfect weighted nature, it feels more like a piano. As for the keys themselves, the plastic on them feel sturdy and rugged. It doesn’t feel like “cheap” plastic at all.

alesis coda 2

Before we proceed any further with our detailed analysis, a word of caution for the recreational type of user. You will sorely miss out on the percussion button that lets you play to an ongoing recorded beat. This piano does not come with the frivolous features seen on many other brands. Yes, it has a few instrument settings but they are quite limited and percussion is one major miss. A pity really because the speakers on this piano are simply marvelous and I bet they could do an amazing job with percussion beats.

Next up, the sustain pedal, which is decent at best but we did feel it missed out with the deepness of the reverberations. In fact, a little reverb helps the sustain pedals go a long way and we believe it is because of the light design of the pedals. Not that much of a bother though because once you adjust the reverb settings, it comes pretty close to the natural sound.

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As far as connectivity goes, it has all the things you can ever need. Auxiliary ports for inputs and outputs, a USB-MIDI port to plug into your computer and a sustain pedal input if you decide to go for this add-on.

Alesis Coda Pros

  • Excellent key design with good quality plastic and full size.
  • Even with a total of 88 keys, the piano is not too wide, which is a good thing because this makes it lighter and easy to carry.
  • The action or feel of the keys is pretty close to the real thing. In fact, the semi-weighted keys do mimic an actual piano key with that authentic rigid action.Plenty of useful configurations that you can play along to or practice.
  • Excellent built-in voices but the default piano voice is what really sets this instrument apart thanks to its uncanny likeness to an actual piano.
  • Excellent speaker quality, the sound stays compact and composed without any noise.
  • There’s a pitch bend wheel on this thing, which doesn’t always come handy but it is nice to know that it is there in the rare event you may need it.

Alesis Coda Cons

  • The stiffness of the keys is akin to a real piano but because of it, those used to playing digital pianos such as Yamaha and the likes might just find it harder to complete songs.
  • While the speakers are clear, they are not sufficiently loud enough. You need to connect external speakers if you really want to enjoy this keyboard.
  • Total of 20 voices is all you get and for enthusiasts this may be a downer. Honestly, we don’t understand why Alesis could not bundle in lot more voice options.
  • The music holder is a bit flimsy thanks to its wire setup and it isn’t exactly tall enough for a typical music sheet. Such a simple thing, they could have increased the height at least.
  • One really annoying feature of this piano is that it automatically switches off if left unused for 30 minutes. While this is not a huge issue, the fact that each time it switches on it defaults back to its original settings is quite annoying.

Alesis Coda Features

  • Available in several variations – the pro version comes with hammer weighted keys that are exactly like piano keys. Then there’s the option of purchasing with or without a stand.
  • Total of 88 keys and an auxiliary input if you wish to play with another external equipment.
  • Several connectivity options such as USB-MIDI and dual headphone jacks.
  • This piano features a total of 20 built-in voices on top of the regular piano voice. It even allows splitting or layering of two voices together.
  • Total of 60 preset songs and the ability to record your own song.
  • Accessories include, wire frame that holds the music sheets upright, power supply and a sustain pedal.
  • Reverb, adjustable Equalizer, Built-in DSP and Chorus FX
  • Built-in metronome and transpose control
  • All built-in sounds come from SONiVOX and AIR Music Technology.

Alesis Coda Conclusion

The Alesis Coda Semi-weighted variant’s cost puts it solidly in the “moderately expensive” category. So, if you don’t mind spending that much money on a keyboard and mostly prefer the actual piano sound then this is the keyboard to get. Remember though, that because the keys are designed to mimic a real piano, you may just find them a little stiffer than usual. Overall, the Alesis Coda is an excellent proposition for most folks, even though it caters more towards professional musicians and studio recordings.

Not the choice for you? Check out the rest of our digital piano reviews hub!