CPU spikes, skipping audio

Cubase Elements 8
Computer: ACER V15 Nitro
Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4

Problem: Lately the CPU meter (in Cubase) will just randomly peak, which causes stutters and dropouts.

I ran a whole session back in November - somewhere around 10 tracks, VST instruments and audio, multiple effects on each track, 88.2kHz 24bit - with absolutely no problems at all, everything ran smoothly. I also messed around with some song ideas a couple of months ago, again with no issues. I have not changed anything in my system or Cubase. Cubase and all associated drivers where up-to-date when I first purchased it and nothing new has come out since.

Things I’ve Tried:
-Disabling ASIO Guard on plugins (suggested in another post), nothing
-Running Process Explorer simultaneously to see if there are any spikes that occur on my system that would coincide with the Cubase spikes, nothing
-Disabling internet and wifi, nothing
-Playing with sample rate, nothing
-Playing with buffers, nothing
-Starting a brand new session with NO TRACKS and just letting the click track play, spikes still happen
-Disconnecting the Focusrite and running straight off of the computer’s audio card, same still happens

Though it’s clear that the audio interface is not the problem, I figure I’d also add that I recorded a video (a few mins of straight recording, 2 mics) on another program with the Focusrite and had no problems at all.

I’m really not sure what else to do. Any ideas?

I had a similar problem and found that reducing the number of mappings from software ports to hardware ports in VST Connections (F4 on Windows) makes a big difference. I think the reason is that the number of buffers is distributed over all the mapped (active) ports. So, if you have all hardware ports available on your Focusrite mapped, the number of buffers/port will be lower than if you just use the ones you need. I’m not sure that this is the correct reason, but doing it did help.

If this works for you as well, you can create and save a few templates in VST Connections to make creating/mapping ports for specific functions for convenience. For example, you can create a recording template with multiple IN ports but with a single out port (for monitoring) and a playback template with multiple OUT ports and no in ports.

I realize that you shouldn’t have to do this if you didn’t make any changes to your system, but it’s worth trying until you figure out the real problem. Cheers…