I had a similar story. Though I was exposed to the music and that world since childhood, I've always dreamed to have some project of mine in that area.
And somewhat like a year ago I decided to try different courses to get better understanding on what could I do as a skillful (already) software engineer.
First of all I took a course on Coursera on audio signal processing. I found it interesting, not that low level and it shows how to do certain things on Python. Bought a couple of books which was said are not that low level (i.e. Introduction to Audio Processing by Mads G. Christensen). Though still require some mathematical background, which I already forgot from my university time, but trying to get through :)
Then afterwards, I thought what is my application would be so I can sharpen my skills. My main field nowadays is distributed computations and big data, so I decided to run the open source project to marry these two things together.