Some stock pad sounds have a tendency to sound a little flat. If you want to generate a tone that's more interesting, movement is key.
Fortunately, most soft synths feature modulation features that enable you to create sounds that develop over time. A case in point is AlphaCM, which comes supplied on the Computer Music magazine cover DVD every month (alternatively, try the similar LinPlug Free Alpha 3, which you can download here). Watch the video above to learn how you can use this to create a swelling pad.
For more synthesis tutorials, check out Computer Music Special (opens in new tab) 38, Make Synth Music, which is on sale now.