To play short grains of sound, especially ones randomly chosen from a sound file, it's usually necessary to impose some sort of "window"—an amplitude envelope—to taper the ends of the grain in order to avoid clicks. This patch shows how to generate four types of window function, and read through them with a phasor.
The adsr~ object provides a signal in the shape of an ADSR envelope (attack, decay, sustain, release) commonly used in synthesizer design. You specify an attack time in ms (time to get from 0 amplitude to peak amplitude), a decay time in ms (time to settle to the sustain level), a sustain level (an amplitude factor, not a ms time), and a release time in ms (time to return to 0). Those values can all be supplied as initializing arguments, and/or as floats or signals in the second, third, fourth, and fifth inlets.
The way that a sound’s amplitude evolves over time is called its amplitude envelope.