zillaomg I have a tiny bit of c++ experience though not in dsp. I'm a quick study though so if you could point me in the right direction I would definitely give it a shot.
I'm going out on a branch guessing that your music theory background gives you more insight into DSP concepts than you might think. I never got deep into music theory, but I started out in the arts before I went into engineering and I was pleasantly surprised how much my minimal exposure to music theory prepared me for signal processing concepts. What I determined is you don't have to be a math guru to "get it". Just add, subtract, multiply and imagine pitches and tones changing over time. If you are comfortable with PD, the C++ just adds some twists to expressing what you're thinking, but you can get it if you have the time to invest in the technical aspect up front.
The coding part is easy, because there is a lot of detail you don't actually need to understand about C or C++ in order to code DSP algorithms on Bela. A lot of the lower level "hard" stuff has been done by a team of brilliant individuals who know it at that level.
By saying the coding part is easy, I don't want to trivialize the steep learning curve, but once you get some basic programs running, then your imagination grows, and your confidence grows with it. It takes time and attention, including time away from creating music.
As for pointing you toward a path, look at Bela examples and study the code until you understand somewhat how it works. Then start to modify it and observe how your changes to the code work out. It will seem slow at first, but if you keep at it you will start to imagine how to use what you are learning to do what you really want to do.
Here are some resources that have been helpful to me over the years of tinkering with this stuff:
https://www.dsprelated.com/ (search forums and blogs for topics of interest)
Last but not least, Bela example code is full of good ideas and coding concepts worth understanding.
My method was to study open source code that was interesting to me, and going line-by-line, searching and reading about any new syntax or concepts I saw in the code that I didn't understand.
I think there are a lot of resources out there where you can balance the amount of technical learning needed against musical creativity. Some things like partitioned convolution with non-uniform block sizes are not unreasonably difficult to grasp in principle, but very tedious to implement in practice. This is more a level of commitment rather than a level of skill or intelligence.
If you don't have the level of commitment needed to develop an open source project for this, then welcome to the club of mortal individuals who wait for somebody with the right combination of time, talent, money and combination of interests...or much much faster hardware